Donkey Punch

Donkey Punch movie poster
MPAA rating: NR
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Young British vacationers come unglued when one of their number is killed while shooting an impromptu porn video on their yacht.
Starring: Robert Boulter, Sian Breckin, Tom Burke, Nichola Burley, Julian Morris
Director: Oliver Blackburn
Running time: 1:35
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Editorial Review

Nothing ruins a beach vacation like a horde of drunken Brits, yammering about cheap booze, cheap sex and cheap flights from Manchester. It's that crowd that might have been satirized in a scabrous new sex and murder thriller, "Donkey Punch." And you would laugh as they all met their bloody fate.

But "Donkey Punch" is almost humorless, and there's no wink and nudge behind the mayhem to absolve us of taking its ugly, class-obsessed subtext seriously.

It begins with a toxic mix: Three besotted English chicks meet up with four oversexed sailor boys who have the run of a yacht. Liquor, flirting and drugs ensue, and soon the stout-hearted among them descend below decks for amateur porn-making. And then, voila, the most critical line of all is crossed: the donkey punch.

It can't be explained in a family newspaper. It's a miracle that it can even be used as the title of a film in general release. The donkey punch, a violent and deeply misogynist sexual act, yields the film's first corpse.

There's some confusion about the rating of the film. According to its distributors, the DVD release is rated R, while the theatrical release is unrated. The Web site for the Motion Picture Association of America makes no distinction and gives the film an R.

But this is not an R film. The sex scene is graphic, violent, dehumanizing and cruel. Was it necessary to show it in detail?

Just before the story turns dark, when we're receiving our first lesson in something we'd all rather not know about, the donkey punch, one of the women asks, "What's in it for the girl?"

Nothing. And that goes for the men, too.

-- Philip Kennicott (Feb. 13, 2009)

Contains a scene of strong sexual content involving an aberrant violent act, graphic nudity, violence, language and drug use. At Landmark's E Street Cinema.