Donkey Punch (2008) Film Review

I watched Donkey Punch on a whim (it was between that film and the French sci-fi flick, Chrysalis). Both films were up for midnight screenings, but I chose Donkey Punch. Given its lude title and classification as an erotic thriller, it seemed more appropriate and entertaining for the evening. I haven’t seen Chrysalis yet, but I think Donkey Punch was the right choice. It was surely a shocker; most movies chock full of boobies and promiscuous sex turn out to be B-rated throwaways, but Donkey Punch showed a level of creativity that showed a lot of thought beneath the nude exterior.

The movie started off a bit hoaky, with believable but cheesy dialogue and a bright, beachy color palette. It looked like an Abercrombie ad turned film, and it was slightly off-putting. But it was obviously on purpose. As the movie’s storyline progressed and became increasingly sinister, tragedy befalls one of the women, causing character after character to turn on one another due to conflicts of interest. They spiral downwards, and as they do, the color palette of the film changes.

It is obvious the staff of Donkey Punch knew what they were doing in terms of lighting; despite the fact that the latter half of the movie involved the characters stumbling around in the near dark, none of the plot was lost and the darkness was not crippling. It was in fact beneficial and helped contribute to the feeling that the seven characters — many of whom were strangers — were indeed alone on a yacht on an open sea, unable to trust or believe in one another.

Donkey Punch is a film that stuck in my mind for a long time after the movie. Its plot obviously required a lot of thought because of all its little nuances, and the film as a whole was very creative with its death scenes and its character manipulations. Don’t let the name turn you off. If you can find it, watch it (I wouldn’t try searching for it illegally, however, as you’re bound to find a lot of porn).

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

In 2017, Vee released the narrative short film, Searching Skies — which touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States — and co-organized The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. 2022 sees the release of their next short film, Reckless Spirits, which is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature film.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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