Blu-Ray Review: Bonnie's Kids (1973)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Thursday, January 21, 2016 0 comments

Bonnie's Kids is an action drama about two girls, Ellie and Myra, they live with their step-dad due to their mother passing away.  During one dark night we have their step-dad playing poker with his dirty minded friends that want to have their way with his step-daughters and when they leave we then see the step-dad trying to have his own way with Myra.  It's not all bad for Myra as Ellie comes to the rescue just in time, shoots and kills her dirty old step-daddy with a shotgun, now the two girls are living with their rich uncle in Texas in hopes of a good life.  Sadly, the good life can't last forever as the two girls find themselves in trouble yet again as one  gets involved with a hunky man, the other gets involved with their uncle's very sexy wife.  Oh how will this turn out for Bonnie's kids?  (Click on "Read More" to read full review).

The story in this film has a strong start but after the opening, the story becomes very shallow to the point where it becomes a movie about nothing and you'll be begging for something to happen.  Once you have reached the half-way point of the film, the movie picks up greatly and becomes a very interesting and fun crime drama film.  Another reason why the first half of this film was a drag was due to it mostly being about sub-plot and the sub-plot wasn't bad per-se, they just gave it more screen time than what it needed but I did enjoy the pay off to the sub-plot even though the modern people that are into political correctness won't find it to be very PC.

The action in this film has that 1970's cheese that you would see in an episode of Charlie's Angels (1976 - 1981) (even though this film came out prior to Charlie's Angels) but with a little more blood and a bit more nudity and sex.  I liked the action but I liked it ironically due to it being so bad that it ended up being pretty entertaining.  The drama is a bit on the soap opera side but mixed in with a little bit of The Godfather (1972) and it did make for some interesting moments that were a bit over the top. 

The weakest part of the film is that the characters are very one dimensional and lack depth but hey, you get to see some of them naked, so it evens out...  On a serious note, yes this film does have a bit of nudity and some of it was a bit shameless and was put in there for the sake of having fan-service but some of it was appropriate due to Ellie's job.  Some of you will enjoy the nudity but when you find out the age at one of the characters (I'm talking about Ellie) then you'd feel a bit wrong for admiring the scenery.  One thing that might turn you off about the film is how un-sympathetic the characters are but I really liked that as it added a sense of realism, where everyone is not nice like in a Disney movie, plus it also made the movie a bit more interesting and will make you wonder if there'll be anything good to happen to the main characters in this film.

Another problem with the story is that it doesn't know what it wants to be as it starts off as being an intense action movie, then it goes to being a slice of life drama about two girls, then it goes into a romance movie, then it goes back to being an action film.  All of this genre changing is very off-putting and will make you dizzy just like being stuck in the washing machine.  The constant genre changes did make me question the movie a little bit but I personally wasn't put off the film because of it and while it is a messy movie, it ended up being an okay watch.  A lot of my problems with this film ended up being the reason why I liked this film and the reason why was due to watching this film for a second time.   Watching this film for a second time also helped me to understand the story and sub-plots a lot better, it did make me appreciate the film a bit more but watching the film a second time is also a huge task and not everyone would feel like doing that.

The acting in this film is pretty decent as they did a good job at making them believable characters.  While I liked the acting, it isn't perfect and there'll be some spots where the acting is a little bit off but the worst offender has to be with the dancing scene in the middle of the film, it was bad, so, so , so bad and it got so bad that it was very hard to watch.  I liked the sets and locations in this movie as it captured the hot southern vibe of Texas and it helped to enhance everything that is going on in the movie.

This film does have a neat set of special features including: An audio commentary, the soundtrack, interviews, and the trailers.  The audio commentary is done by the Terror Transmission (they also did an audio commentary on The Centerfold Girls), so it is a fan commentary but a very good one at that as they say some very interesting and useful things to where it feels right at home being on this release.  The commentary also has a very warm vibe to it where you'll feel like that you are hanging out with a couple of friends and a couple drinks and just enjoying a VHS rental together (I miss video stores), it is defiantly worth listening to.  It was very nice seeing that the soundtrack was included but sadly it is in blu-ray video only, not in any form of audio file that you can listen to on a music player or on your computer.  The soundtrack has that '70s funk style and listening to it on its own is a bit weird as it sounds like something that's not from a dark movie like this one.  A good chunk of the tunes were very fun to listen to but there were a few tunes that didn't sound all that great as they were too cartoony and I couldn't take them seriously.

The interviews were very entertaining and very detailed, they cover what it was like working on the movie very well and they also talked about their own careers as a whole and was quite interesting to listen to.  The interviews are also a bit long and range from fifteen minutes to an hour and ten minutes long but that's not a complaint, more of a heads up.  The trailers were okay, you do get the red band trailer with all the nudity and you get the television friendly trailers and they were interesting to watch.  My complaint about the trailers is that they give away way too much information about the film, then again the start of the film didn't have much going on, so they had to really dig deep to find something exciting to add to the trailers.  Just like the other Glass Doll blu-rays, this comes with a little book full of goodies such as an interesting article about the movie, photos, and English and international movie posters.

Overall, this movie is a mess that you'll be mixed on the first watch but be in love with on the second watch.  I'm recommending that you do go out and give this film a watch but if you don't want to take  the time to watch it twice, don't bother watching this one at all.  A magnificent disaterpiece.

Title: Bonnie's Kids
Directed by: Arthur Marks
Starring: Tiffany Bolling, Robin Mattson
Genre:  Action, Black/Tragic Drama, Romance
Distributed by: Glass Doll Films
Running Time: 106 minutes
Price: $20 - $35
Rating: MA15+ (Strong Violence, Nudity, Sexual Violence)
Recommended: Yes


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