The Ninjabot

Flashback Friday: The Soska’s ‘Dead Hooker in a Trunk’

Posted on June 13, 2014 at 10:00 am by Logan Boggs

So often we see women being victimized in movies. Usually, women are seen getting themselves into precarious situations, making unintelligent decisions, or relying on their male co-stars to come to save the day.  Although this predicament spans all genres, it is particularly evident in horror films. From slashers to supernatural thrillers, it sometimes seems like we ladies can’t catch a break.

For most female horror fans, this cliché has become mind-numbingly dull; and almost unbearable. So much so that I actively look for movies that feature strong female directors, producers and characters.

Not you.

Not you.

Enter Jen and Sylvia Soska: Two innovative twin sisters set to reinvigorate the horror genre with their female-centric, yet completely brutal films. From a young age, the Soska sisters have been involved in acting and film production.  Together, they make up Twisted Twins productions, and have been writing, directing, producing and acting in their own films since 2008.

I had actually come across their most recent feature, American Mary, a few years ago and loved it. After some research, I decided to track down their first film, aptly titled Dead Hooker in a Trunk.  Is this an Oscar winning film? Absolutely not! But, if you’re about to view a film called Dead Hooker in a Trunk, do you really expect it to be?

Dead. Hooker. Trunk. Check!

Dead. Hooker. Trunk. Check!

I loved this film, but admittedly, this movie has some rough spots. In fact, the characters are sometimes excruciatingly boring during the first act. Some of the dialogue feels strained, and actor’s delivery is not always on point. But, as the movie progresses, more and more shit hits the fan.

It begins when a group of four unlikely “friends,” are forced to deal with the aftermath of finding—you guessed it—a dead hooker in their trunk. Of course, as you can imagine, acquiring a dead hooker can carry some pretty severe consequences, but not the ones you’re probably thinking of. In fact, there are virtually no repercussions for anyone on this movie, and that’s part of what makes it so fun.

After finding the hooker, the group has to navigate through a group of torturous drug runners, a vengeful cowboy pimp, and a ruthless serial killer. As this happens, Sylvia’s character (unnamed but referred to simply as ‘Badass,’) takes matters into her own hands and definitely lives up to her nickname. While she may not make the best decisions, she unquestionably holds her own, protects her friends, and does what she wants without wavering. She is undoubtedly one of the most interesting characters in the film.

Dead Hooker 2

Dead Hooker in a Trunk is written and filmed Grindhouse style, which was a real treat for me. Its unrelenting attitude and ample gore makes Dead Hooker in a Trunk a solid choice for any fans of the Grindhouse genre. The Soska’s were heavily inspired by Robert Rodriguez’s book ‘Rebel Without a Crew,’ and it certainly shows. When researching for this article, I found out that Dead Hooker in a Trunk was actually the Soska’s film school project. They also financed the movie themselves, with a budget of $2,500.

Sylvia Soska via IMDB:

We had a final project for film school where we got to make short films. They had us break into groups and work within them. They ended up saying that they didn’t have the budget for our group. We thought ‘fuck that,’ and decided to do it anyways, relying on our own assets to get the film made. However, there was a list of things that we were forbidden from putting in our films, which included, but was not limited to, nudity, necrophilia, foul language, vomiting, religious themes, excessive blood and violence, etc. We were sure to include as many of those as possible.

And, they did fit all of that into Dead Hooker’s 92 minutes, and it is awesome.

Dead Hooker in a Trunk: B+

You can follow Logan on Twitter @LoganMBoggs

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