Writer/Dirctor: Dwayne Labbé
Producer: Aaran Creece
Director of Photography: Darrell Martin
Starring: Jacinta Stapleton, Tai Scrivener, Blackwood
Reviewed by: James Ackland
We’ve all made rash discussions with money, right? There’s always been times when you frivolously spend the last of your cash, which, you know you should use to keep the lights on or keep a can of spaghetti in the cupboard. But life is too short and we want that new record NOW! Or is that just me?....
In Dwayne Labbé’s MUSCLECAR: The Motion Picture, lead character Bambi is a woman after my own heart. Bambi (Jacinta Stapleton) has only one day to wait for funding to clear in order to finance a film that has been slowly working its way to production when an advert for a 1968 lipstick red and smoking hot Dodge Phoenix sidetracks her priorities. Her passion for hot cars instantly alters her priorities. She uses her last ten thousand dollars and starts a downward spiral that no film producer would want to happen. Oh, and then the worst news strikes. No funding, no film and a cash guzzling car that is all outta petrol!
Once Bambi acquires the coveted Phoenix the reality of running the beast sets in and the search for alternative fuel commences. Fossil fuels just aren’t worth it! In the age of electric cars and ride sharing we’re looking at more economical ways to travel and MUSCLECAR has cornered the market in innovation. Voodoo and a ridiculous blood/alcohol ratio are the perfect alternative fuel! Much like Stephen King’s Christine, the car takes over all aspects of Bambi’s life and her obsession quickly escalates to bloodlust and the need to get behind the wheel. But is the car the only obsession in the film? Bambi herself is a smart succubus who will use her own sexuality to achieve her goals. With a tongue firmly planted in its cheek, MUSCLECAR is heavy on dark humor and the ending hits with a South Park worthy “Did they just say THAT???!!!”.
Lead actors Jacinta Stapleton, Tai Scrivener and Blackwood are great. Armed with the knowledge that these characters are comic-book weirdos, they push the story forward and allow the humor and cheese to flow. The supporting cast is hilarious, half naked… fully naked… running around the inner west of Sydney. The location shooting alone would have been interesting to stumble upon.
Writer and director Dwyane Labbé, a fully accomplished animator with a credit list that will blow your mind, has crafted a rocking film! An obvious labor of love, he very deftly mixes his animation background, love of exploitation films and silliness to produce a very fun ride!
Running in just over an hour, MUSCLECAR sets its premise and doesn't waste time, it’s OZPLOTATION in the classiest way. It’s creatively stitched together with awesome animation sequences that add to the off-the-wall storytelling genre and certainly makes up for any moments that budget would not have allowed. Director of photography, Darrel Martin has shot the film wonderfully, with angles and lighting that paint it with grindhouse flair.
Trust me, the ending is so twisted that I was sweating while laughing. Grind on!!
MUSCLECAR will make its Sydney debut at the NIGHT OF HORROR FESTIVAL this December at the Dendy, Newtown.
And while you’re at it… go down to the Golden Barley hotel for a drink afterward. The film was shot there and is MY LOCAL! Nice!