This is a nasty little movie. Red White and Blue is an independent exploitation/revenge flick about three low-lifes in Texas and the destruction the intersection of the lives causes on themselves and others. Erica (played by Buffy veteran Amanda Fuller) is a disaffected slut who sleeps with as many people as possible every night and drifts aimlessly through life. She lives in an apartment as a charity case of the owner who lets her earn her stay as a live-in housekeeper. Things change when the landlandy gives that job to someone else and Erica is forced to get a job, thanks to the kindness of her neighbor Nate (played by interesting character actor Noah Taylor). Nate obviously has taken a liking to Erica but she ignores this, telling him that she doesn’t sleep with friends. Nate watches helplessly as she sleeps with everyone else though. And then Erica’s past comes calling as one of her past flings, an aspiring musician named Franki (Marc Senter who played Ray Pye in The Lost) comes looking for her.
And then things spiral out of control.
When I first started watching it, I was like “is this movie going to go anywhere?” It seemed to be more wandering and disaffected than it’s characters, which I guess is the way of putting us in their shoes. It’s shot in a very disjointed style. Scenes cut off and flip to another scene without much warning. The plot is enough to get us to know who the characters are without truly getting inside their heads. This eventually works to the films favor at about the halfway point as we finally put all the pieces together and see what’s going on. And by that point we know it’s not going to a very pretty place.
The film reminded me a bit of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer in the respect that it just drops the viewer into the lives of people they’d rather avoid in real life and manages to draw a bit of sympathy for them, even as the revelations of how terrible they are come to light. It’s also a bit funny because the characters are so stupid that you also feel that they deserve each other and their fates.
The standout performance is Noah Taylor as Nate. He tells Erica that he was honorably discharged from the Iraq war and has been offered a CIA job, which in refuses to take because he enjoys his job at the hardware store so much. The fact that she believes him shows how smart her character is. This is of course a couple days after he told her that he killed small animals as a child, except for a kitten his mother bought for him which he took care of. The relationship that blossoms between them is oddly sweet, and makes Nate’s quest more believable. He’s almost like Bill Moseley type, except a good actor in general, not just when playing the role of a psycho.
Then there is Franki. If you’ve seen The Lost, you can expect the same kind of performance here. It’s the same type of character, almost. He’s not a true sociopath here, but he feels pushed into by a lot of bad shit going down in his life. His mother is going through breast cancer treatment and his one night stand with Erica ends up having some really bad consequences for him and his loved ones.
This is a movie that deserves to be seen. I have never seen anything from director Simon Rumley before, but he is damn sure on my radar now. He has an upcoming film with twenty-five other horror directors (including Ti West) coming out this fall called The ABC’s of Death, with each director taking on a letter of the alphabet for their segment. I’m in love with the poster.
But that’s just my opinion. YOU CAN WATCH WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT.