Lucky Bastard Movie Review
Found footage thrillers have proven to be effective. When done right. When done wrong, they can be nothing more than cheap, soft core porn. Like Lucky Bastard.
Lucky Bastard is a found footage thriller about a porn film crew and cast who give the opportunity to one lucky bastard of a fan to have on-screen sex with a porn star. The fan ends up being a murderous psychopath. You can guess what happens next.
You can guess what happens next because Lucky Bastard is a shockingly straightforward and predictable affair with bad acting, a lazy script and not much going for it. Other than cheap, soft core porn. The movie appears to have been made to satisfy first-time director Robert Nathan's desire to direct some variation of a porn - without making a porn. The concept isn't ludicrous; the execution is.
Lucky Bastard could have gotten away with the cheap look - after all, it is meant to be "found footage" from a porn shoot gone horribly wrong - and even the rocky script, which suffers from bad, porn-quality dialogue and shallow characters, but as a thriller, too, it fails to stand out. The murders come after a series of obvious setup scenes that establish lucky bastard Mike (Don McManus) doesn't like being laughed at. And the murders are fairly routine, with each coming in obvious fashion after the next.
It's hard to say exactly where Lucky Bastard goes truly wrong, because it's not an outright disaster. Aside from the aforementioned shortcomings, the movie is fast-paced, easy to watch and thankfully short. There's some sex and nudity. And McManus is a serviceable bad guy, even though he isn't given the material needed to make him a memorable bad guy.
But in the end, the problem is that Nathan and co-writer Lukas Kendall wrote a thriller that few people can relate to, and where none of the victims are even remotely likable. The Blair Witch Project worked in part because you could one day find yourself camping in the woods; Paranormal Activity, because everyone hears weird sounds when they sleep; and Cloverfield, because even though it's unlikely a giant monster is going to attack New York City, you could be at a party with friends when disaster strikes. Are you likely to be on a pornography set when a killer decides to off everyone? No, and you probably don't care about anyone in that situation to begin with.
Earlier in this movie review I stated "the concept isn't ludicrous; the execution is." The statement is only half right. Lucky Bastard is poorly made, with little thought given to how to make this movie thrilling for the average moviegoer. But the concept is ludicrous; it's one the average moviegoer can't relate to nor wants to, and when you don't care, you won't be thrilled, and you won't be entertained.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.