In December, the YBCA had a horror film series. One of the films in the series was Red, White & Blue. I missed the film screening in December. In April, the Roxie screened Red, White & Blue for a week. In fact, it was extended for at least one additional week. I was able to catch Red, White & Blue during the leisurely schedule I set for myself during the 2011 San Francisco International Film Festival.
Red, White & Blue starring Noah Taylor, Amanda Fuller & Marc Senter; directed by Simon Rumley; (2010) - Official Website
I had been tipped off that this was better than the average horror film. As I've admitted before, I'm not a horror film aficionado. In fact, poorly made horror films and porn are two the most boring genres I can think of.
So I was a little cautious in my expectations of Red, White & Blue. It wasn't bad...for a horror film.
Red, White & Blue is really two films. The first half follows Erica (Amanda Fuller) as she sleeps around in Austin. The girl gets around and in the opening montage she has foursome with three guys in a rock band including Franki (Marc Senter).
Back at home, a shady looking guy moves into Erica's apartment building. Nate (Noah Taylor) looks like a bad ass biker but it is his taciturn behavior that portends something more ominous. Erica has hit rock bottom and strikes up a friendship with Nate which eventually becomes quite intense.
Meahwhile, Franki discovers he is HIV positive and he is sure Erica infected him. Oddly, his bandmates test negative which made me wonder if Franki wasn't positive from some other encounter. Franki and the band (including the fourth band member who declined to get on the Erica Express) go searching the bars in the Warehouse District because that's where they met Erica.
Eventually, the catch up with Erica and kidnap her to teach her a lesson. They confront her about her HIV status. She doesn't admit to being HIV+ but she does document her rather lengthy list of sex partners and some abuse she suffered as a child. Franki is becoming increasingly agitated but inexplicably, his bandmates leave Erica (bound and restrained) at Franki's house.
After Franki calms down a little and he comes up with the perfect solution - since they are both HIV+, they'll get married and take care of each other. Erica has different ideas particularly since she's become closer to Nate and given up her nocturnal activities. This enrages Franki and he proceeds to repeatedly stab Erica.
Franki calls the band and when they arrive they see what he has done. Initially, they proceed to take Erica to the hospital but in the best scene of the film, they decide to let her die instead. Clearly Franki will have to do prison time for what he has done. In fact, all four of them will probably be charged with kidnapping and face serious consequences. Besides, the bitch gave Franki HIV! They make their moral compromise which sets in motion the second half of the film.
You see, Nate isn't just a biker, he is also some kind of assassin and when he learns of Erica's disappearance, he becomes an avenging assassin. The rest of the film has Nate tracking down the band members to discover Erica's whereabouts. Let's also say that Nate isn't afraid of wet work.
The second half of Red, White & Blue is pretty much a stalker/slasher film. Oddly, I felt sympathy for the three band members except Franki. However, Nate felt no sympathy. A great scene in the second half of the film has Nate hold one guy and his wife and daughter hostage. The guy is driving around with Erica (or her part of Erica) in the trunk of his car. When Nate discovers this grisly find, he poses this Tarantino-esque dilemma to the young daughter. Would you rather live with both your parents dead? Or would your rather die with your parents?
Beyond that scene, I thought the second half of Red, White & Blue was a bore. As Nate took his revenge on Franki, there were copious amounts of HIV+ blood being splashed around. I wondered if Nate was being exposed to the virus as a final coda.
I think the three lead actors couldn't quite find their roles. Fuller & Senter looked awkward at times. Taylor did a fine job when he was killing or menacing people but I couldn't quite believe it when Noah was trying to bond with Erica.
19 hours ago