Lunatic Stripper Fantasy Land

A (sort of) review of "Suckerpunch," a bizarre, hot girl asylum film.

There are certain types of films that exist for one purpose and one purpose only: to be enjoyed on a purely visual level, preferably muted with White Zombie's "La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One" playing at full blast while doing lots and lots of drugs in the midst of a Hellfire Club style orgy. Suckerpunch is that kind of movie.

Suckerpunch movie poster

But since I quit doing drugs and don't own an mp3 player to smuggle into the theater, I was forced to watch this film with its original soundtrack and storyline fully intact. This is not the recommended method. And that's not to say it's not a good movie, it's just not White Zombie and drugs good.

The point is, fuck the plot. So she has weird zombie-killing, dragon-slaying rape asylum fantasies. That's cool, I don't judge.Okay, let me back up. It's not a good movie. You're going to read a lot of bad reviews on this for one simple reason: the plot is retarded. And no, it's not that I didn't get it, I did. It was just... you know what? Fuck the plot. It takes hundreds of people to make a movie, and everyone in the cinematography and effects departments earned their fucking paychecks on this one. So here's what you should do: buy the DVD when it comes out. Watch it on a big screen television. Mute it. Turn on the stereo. Invite some strippers over. Get really high. BAM. Best movie ever. If you watch it any other way, I can't be held responsible for your reaction.

Just add drugs.

So the movie goes like this: some chick gets thrown in the nuthouse by her step-dad because he's a dick. The nuthouse in question is The Lennox Institute for the Mentally Insane, which by some awesome coincidence is full of hot girls. Crazy hot girls. But just regular crazy, not really asylum crazy. Actually now that I think about it, they were all pretty sane. Sort of like the people who ran the joint were just talent scouts, and they didn't want a bunch of ugly chicks from the special-ed class lowering the tone of their super-hot goth chick asylum. Imagine Tim Burton directing a women-in-prison sexploitation flick, but without all the tit shots and shower scenes. And yes, I'm deducting points for the total lack of shower scenes. But hey, lots of artsy softcore implied rape scenes. You know, if you're into that.

Suckerpunch girls on the movie poster

It only takes about fifteen or twenty minutes to cruise through the strictly objective reality portion of the plot (which is good, because reality is boring), and then the main character starts to drift off into the world of make-believe in a dream within a dream. So because being stuck in an asylum is apparently pretty dreary, she imagines that it's also a whorehouse run by a sinister sleazebag. From that point on, the whole asylum takes on a strange burlesque/strip joint quality. Which is pretty awesome. Then again, in my mind no one was talking except for Rob Zombie as he sang Black Sunshine. So I guess that helped.

Fuck the plot.

But here's where it gets odd. The main character, Baby Doll (oh yeah, and they all have stripper names. Let's just go ahead and throw that out there. Baby Doll, Rocket, Sweet Pea, Blondie...yeah. Stripper names) rolls up in the dance studio (asylums have those, right?) where the Russian madam (asylums have those too, right?) forces her to dance as the other girls watch. This scene lays down the foundation for the whole goddamn plot.

Basically it's like this: in reality, or at least half-dream reality where's she's still trapped in the asylum but it's now also a swanky brothel, she's doing some sort of strip tease (minus the actual stripping). They never actually show her dancing, only the enraptured reactions of everyone watching as they drift off into a hypnotic trance. I can only guess that it's some type of un-filmable Lambada that causes a reaction akin to seeing the Ark of the Covenant, but with the face melting replaced by furious masturbation.

Anyway, that's what she's doing in reality. Dancing. Or the half-dream, whatever. What she's doing in her mind (the full-on dream sequence) is killing orcs and zombies with machine guns. And all the important details of the escape plan to follow are directly linked to these little "exotic dancing" routines. And the plan, with its video game simplicity (collect the special items), just has to work because, you know... she's such a good dancer. In fact, the whole thing is pretty much just a bullshit lobotomy dream anyway, so fuck it. That's just the plot being an asshole. If you ignore the plot, it will go away. Shit, I own a copy of The Cell. You know why? Because I used to eat a lot of acid, that's why.

The point is, fuck the plot. So she has weird zombie-killing, dragon-slaying rape asylum fantasies. That's cool, I don't judge. I've known some kinky chicks in my day, that's not too far out.

And that's when it hit me: this is what strippers think about when they're giving old fat guys private couch dances.

So let's forget about the rest of the movie for a moment. What we have here is a film about the Zen art of going to your happy place when life becomes difficult. But because it's the fucked up version for strippers with severe daddy issues, that happy place wants you to dress up like Sailor Moon and fight robots.

Once again, awesome.

But this got me to thinking... does she solve all her problems like this? What about something less epic than escaping a mental institution while maybe pretending to go-go dance while definitely pretending to slay dragons while actually stabbing people?

Picture this:

Baby Doll is two months late on her light bill. She walks into the local power/utility building. She approaches the front desk. CLICK, CLACK, CLICK, CLACK. She makes puppy dog eyes at the receptionist as a single tear streams down her cheek. The receptionist sneers and says, "Sorry Baby Doll, but if you can't pay the bill we're just going to cut off your power. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!" The girl stands in silence, looking around the dreary greenish-blue room. Harsh fluorescent lights flicker overhead. A dying moth spirals to the ground in slow motion with extra loud flapping wing noises. WHOOSH. WHOOSH. WHOOSH. It hits the ground, probably full of dramatic metaphorical symbolism and/or foreshadowing. THUD. The receptionist idly picks her teeth, glaring. The manager creeps in the background, waiting. Lurking. Baby Doll takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. She begins to sway with the music as the intercom speakers start playing Bjork or something. Close-up of the dead moth. Everything fades to white noise.

Enter the dreamscape:

Everyone in the room is a samurai Nazi werewolf. Baby Doll, dressed up like an anime whore at Comic-Con, pulls out her katana and an Uzi. Everything explodes into an orgy of kung-fu and gunfire. Ten clips and fourteen backwards twirling cartwheels later, the building is a crimson bloodbath of werewolf gore.

Back to reality:

The building is still a crimson bloodbath, minus the werewolf part.

And she never got another red notice on the light bill again.

Other scenes:

-Grocery shopping on double coupon day
-Scoring heroin
-Christmas shopping at the mall
-A heated game of Monopoly
-A trip to the dentist

If Zack Snyder doesn't feel like writing the sequel, I'll do it. I like my version better. At least the soundtrack won't suck.

White Zombie or GTFO

C'mon, one more:

Andrei Trostel's picture

I was going to see this movie today, because of the multiple levels of complex...o.k. who am I women kicking ass in school girl uniforms...that was enough to get me in the door.

Then my friend told me that it completely sucked and wasn't worth my time even for all the awesome hot women kicking ass. Since this girl knows what it means to kick ass while being hot, I took her word for it.

I went to see Red Riding Hood instead.

After reading this article though, I'm not sure I made the right call, even though I actually thought Red Riding Hood was fairly decent.

Mike, I'm giving you 5 stars for the White Zombie videos alone.

Mike Lamb's picture

Well, I saw it for free, so there was that. I didn't get bored with it because I was writing this article in my head as I was watching it. And honestly the soundtrack wasn't bad, it just wasn't White Zombie. Skunk Anasie (however you spell it) did a decent Stooges cover (Search and Destroy), and there were some other highlights here and there.

Almost every rant about this movie is pure unbridled hatred. And to be fair, it was nowhere near the epic masterpiece it should have been. How-fucking-ever...when a movie fails on a storytelling level (which it did), it can still redeem itself as visual art (which it also did). This movie was like an H.R. Giger painting in a pink styrofoam frame covered in glitter and a pull-me string to make it sing "Old Macdonald Had a Farm." So the logical way around that is rip off the frame and don't pull the string.

So, yeah...might wanna wait for the DVD.

Andrei Trostel's picture

Yeah maybe it's just me, but I never really expected it to have some major plot line. You put a bunch of girls in school girl outfits, put them in a dream world with guns, swords, robots, explosions, orcs, zombies and whatever the fuck else was in the preview and you might as well name the movie: "Eye Candy-Plots Have Left the Building!"

I don't walk into art museums and say, "This place has no fucking plot!"

I'm still planning on seeing it, but yeah, it's going to be a I mean DVD rental...yeah DVD rental, which is completely legit and legal.

(looks around nervously)

Mike Lamb's picture

The sad thing is, it was so close to being the greatest thing ever put on film (fuck you, film snobs, I like trash). This should have been a menage a trois of Hellboy, Alice in Wonderland, and Kill Bill. It wasn't.

Visually it was perfect. Even the concept was cool. I don't even mind that it was fuck-all disorienting and convoluted. I like that in movies. No, I think the main problem was that Zack should've called me up to write the dialogue. The only thing that can save an artsy fluff film that takes itself too seriously is dark comedy and wit. Just one little script revision could have pulled their 82million dollar movie out of the box-office graveyard.

"Hey, Mike, it's Zack Snyder!"
"I did the movie 300."
"Oh, Frank Miller! I thought you said Zack something. So what can I do for you?"
"No, I'm...uh, look, I just made this awesome movie about hot chicks in a fuck asylum."
"That does sound awesome."
"And they fight monsters with machine guns."
"I love it. Tell me more, Frank."
"No, I'm...uh, anyway, I...I can't write dialogue for shit. I'm just not witty."
"You think the critics are gonna rip on you?"
"I think they might. I wrote all the dialogue over the weekend with my nephew while we played He-Man vs. Barbie in the backyard."
"So? I could write a script like that."
"Yeah, but that's because you're more clever than I am."
"This is true."
"Okay, so I'm gonna send you a million dollars and a copy of the script. You got a month to re-write it."
"Frank, I can do it in a week."

Critics rave about Suckerpunch! Action-packed and razor sharp! Boston Globe calls it "A menage a trois of Hellboy, Alice in Wonderland, and Kill Bill."

Mike Lamb's picture

I did manage to find a highlight reel re-cut to a Lords of Acid song. That's a good start.

People of the internet: I have a challenge for you. Re-cut the Suckerpunch trailer set to Psychoholic Slag (part 2 of Welcome to Planet Motherfucker, starts at the 4:00 mark).

I will also accept the following:

Upload it to Youtube and link it here.

you suck donkey ass

Mike Lamb's picture

D plus. Needs to be in all caps followed by ten exclaimation marks and four 1s. I'm also deducting points for not calling me a fag or alluding to sexual encounters with my mother.


Gordon Dryfus's picture

I too was writing a review in my head while watching it. It was to be title "Bitch Slap Sucker Punch". The article was to start out with carefully defined objectives given to me by an undead David Carradine (that's clearly who they wanted).

First objective...

Anyway somewhere between getting in my car and sliding it into drive, I lost all motivation.

The great thing about this movie was its version of feminism. I love movies like "Sucker Punch" and "Bitch Slap" that take a subject like feminism and turn it into a twelve year old male's fantasy world with splashing water on cold breasts, pillow fights, the objectification of immature females, and depictions of lesbians that seem willing to allow a man to slide in. Who cares if you kill off the main character in a scene that the narrator couldn't possibly have seen; I think I just saw a camel toe, and I know I didn't see pubes. Go Feminism!

Mike Lamb's picture

Well here's something interesting...

Andrei Trostel's picture

I love how at 2:04 you can actually see her fake tattoo pealing off.

Also, it is an interesting song choice for a video containing women with almost NO "back" per se.

Oh wait, I'm over analyzing things aren't I?

Hot Asian women in skimpy outfits kicking ass, what is there to think about?

If anyone is looking for this movie it goes by several different titles depending on where you are.