Thursday, April 7, 2016

VANish, An Abduction Gore-Fest

A couple of months ago we looked at Kidnapping Mr. Heineken in which some amateurs actually pulled off a brilliant kidnapping.  Today, we examine 2015's "VANish" in which some amateurs see their kidnapping plot blow up in bright red gore. In a most energetic film, we'll see shotgun carnage, electric saw carnage, ice-pick carnage, and machete carnage (which is appropriate because DANNY TREJO is in this film).
The film opens with the violent abduction of two lovers on Mulholland Drive....but that's not the kidnapping that concerns us right now.  Jack (Austin Abke) and Max (Bryan Bockbrader, who also directs) look like two goons out of a Quentin Tarantino film as they drive a van and violently abduct Emma (Maiara Walsh).  Of course their maxim "no one gets hurt" is totally disregarded.  Who is Emma? A college student/waitress...oh yeah, the daughter of a Mexican Cartel leader (Trejo). Though Max appears psycho enough, we sense these two bozos don't realize what they have gotten themselves into.  After the abduction, Jack swings by Shane's (Adam Guthrie) place and now the kidnappers total three in number.
Emma is sassy and apparently a lot smarter than her tormentors.  Her dad is pure evil and begins tracking the trio.  But wait!  Is this really a kidnapping for ransom?  When two cartel hit-men make a move on our gang, we sense that our trio are more evil and equipped than we gave them credit. Of the three Max seems the most psycho...but is he?  First impressions may be deceiving.  Emma clearly is not a helpless damsel in distress....but is she more homicidal than her captors?  This film runs only 79 minutes, so giving away too much of the plot would lead to spoilers.
Uneven, quirky, and fast-paced, "VANish" moves at a rapid rate throwing plenty of twists at us.  Every character in this work has the potential to go total-insaniac at the snap of a severed finger.  Who is controlling the van ride, the kidnappers or Emma?  What of that abduction that opened the film?  The moral of the story?  Just because your gal  is an Applebee's waitress living off her dad's money, doesn't mean that she won't cut you in half if you begin to bore her.....or something like that. Available on Netflix,  see "VANish."

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