Hey gang, Valkor here. Whenever I hear the words "found footage" film, I start to cringe, because I know for the most part I'm not gonna enjoy it – at all! One rare instance is Evidence, which has an amazing and explosive ending that I really enjoyed. Now this next film, Lucky Bastard, takes the genre to a whole new level, tossing aside the horror aspect in favor of something more dramatic and suspenseful. Does it work or will it end up on my "disgust pile" like most films of its kind? Some spoilers ahead.
Lucky Bastard is a found footage film that centers on a web-based, adult reality show entitled "Lucky Bastard". The premise of the show focuses on one of the sites subscribers, giving them the opportunity to have sex with a porn star. The producer of the show, Mike (Don McManus) brings in veteran "actress" Ashley Saint (Betsy Rue) to appear in the next video. However one of Ashley's rules is to never sleep with an amateur as she considers it "very unprofessional". However the money she'll be paid can pay off a lot of bills, so reluctantly she's in. And after sifting through a number of prospects, they settle on a guy named Dave (Jay Paulson). When they first meet him, he's a little awkward, a little shy but very eager to get started. So eager that he wants to skip over the lunch phase and get right to boning.
When they arrive at the house, which has cameras everywhere, they move on to the bedroom to begin the shoot; Dave blows his load when Ashley merely touches it and in response he tosses her off the bed, onto the floor and thus ends Dave's big chance to sleep with this hot porn star. Dave is given the boot but it's far from over as he switches gears from uber-nice guy to psychotic killer taking out everyone from cast members, the crew, and the producer, finally facing off against Ashley. From the start of the film, you'll know who winds up dead (pretty much everyone), but it's the getting there that makes you want to stick around.
From the moment the shoot begins things go from bad, to worse and ultimately to fatal. Lucky Bastard is rated NC-17 and with good reason as the film is loaded with sex. And it takes the genre down a different path than the one most might be used to. With "found footage" films, I'm usually set to experience some kind of cheesy horror, but a sexual thriller? I didn't expect it. So how was the experience?
Lucky Bastard was a unique and entertaining ride, taking you the viewer through the twisted world of a seedy pornographic production. I say unique because it's different than most "found footage" films that center on horror; though the end results might be similar to a horror (with everyone meeting a horrible death), getting there is way more dramatic and suspenseful rather than chilling and frightful. Now I've never been on an actual porn shoot (though I've sat through many a film... ahem!), nevertheless this actually feels quite real, like you're really watching a really real porno shoot! And what ultimately sells the film isn't just the story but the acting, which is phenomenal. Don McManus's portrayal of a shrewd porn producer is stellar and a show stealer. Not only is he a shrewd opportunist, but you can also feel the burdens he has to carry such as getting this shoot done, dealing with a girlfriend who wants her way, and of course attempting some sort of family life as he makes mention of his kids numerous times. Jay Paulson's Dave is another outstanding performer, he just nails the awkward, shy, overly eager fan; his constant staring at Ashley actually weirded me out. Finally accolades need to be given to Catherine Annette who plays wide-eyed, newbie to the industry "Casey"; she plays off her character a little reserved at first but then gets all snobby and bratty later on. I loved it. In the end, Lucky Bastard offers up strong production values bringing new life to a genre that I'm normally not a fan of.
Lucky Bastard is far from perfect, but really I only have one issue with the film; I believe a few extra minutes could have been shaved off, tightening things up a bit, as the story tends to drag.
Mike takes a dildo up the pooper! Pic below very related. Too bad he didn't have a pillow to bite.
If you're tired of the horror-related "found footage" films and you want something that's fresh and entertaining, then you'll definitely want to check out Lucky Bastard. It's a unique approach to the genre that delivers the thrills and suspense, plus its quite convincing in the industry that the film portrays, all thanks to an amazing cast. So, out of TOV 5 stars, Lucky Bastard gets a 4.