TITLE: SUN CHOKE
DISTRIBUTOR: XLrator Media
DIRECTOR: Ben Cresciman
WRITER: Ben Cresciman
CAST: Sarah Hagan, Sara Malakul Lane and Barbara Crampton
RUNNING TIME: 90 min
RATED: Not Rated (Nudity, Sex, Language, Violence, Gore)
IN THEATERS: August 5, 2016
AVAILABLE ON VOD and iTUNES: August 2, 2016
Janie (Sarah Hagan, Freaks and Geeks) is living in a posh L.A. home while her daddy is away on business. She’s in the care of Irma (Barbara Crampton, Re-Animator) whom is helping Janie recover from a psychotic break with the aid of holistic medicine and yoga. It doesn’t appear to be working because Janie is getting bloody flashbacks of her violent outbursts. She seems to go through the motions to make Irma think she’s getting better, and is rewarded solo outings into the real world. She then runs across a beautiful woman named Savannah (Sara Malakul Lane, Sharktopus) and becomes obsessed with her to the point where Janie wants to possess and become her.
THE GOOD: Mr. Skin finally has a listing for Milly from Freaks and Geeks. Some practical gore effects are nicely done, one of which happens during a graphic sex scene so you get a two-fer. Barbara Crampton as Irma is a vicious bitch.
THE BAD: You’re gonna get bored and start looking at your phone for a good hour before anything really happens. Writer/Director Ben Cresciman is trying to be artsy, but is coming off as pretentious. Sex and violence tend to intertwine, and the scenes containing them try to one-up themselves as the film moves along. The one scene I thought was great with the practical effects was just done for shock value. Do the sex scenes actually offer anything to the story? Not really, but go ahead and throw ’em in there because you can.
This film got a lot of positive reviews, and I’m puzzled by that. Am I so out of the loop or did I watch an entirely different cut of the film? Maybe because I don’t think sex, nudity and gore equals a good film. Janie’s background and mental state isn’t fully explained well enough for me to care about her further descent into madness. Is this really happening or is this all in her wacked out head? We get a few hints towards the end, but by then I’m already over it.
TOTAL RATING: C
REVIEWED BY: JM Willis