Dead Hooker in a Trunk

A film that sounds like a joke and kind of is, the micro-budget Dead Hooker in a Trunk is an exploitation film revolving around four nameless characters — they’re credited, crudely, based on personality — who find a dead hooker in the back of their car trunk and proceed to go on an adventure all around Vancouver that results in all sorts of chaos and mayhem. The hooker is a catalyst for many of the events in the film, although some of them would have happened without her body.

The four leads are as follows: “Badass” (Sylvia Soska), the leader of the group and the one who does the most fighting; “Geek” (Jen Soska), the sister of Badass and wears glasses, so she must be the geek; “Junkie” (Rikki Gagne), the sisters’ friend who seems to either be or want to be constantly high on any sort of drug she can get her hands on; and Goody Two Shoes (CJ Wallis), someone who reluctantly tags along after being picked up from his church group. The movie was written and directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska, and marks their feature-length directorial debut.

Whether or not you’ll like Dead Hooker in a Trunk will likely come down to a couple of factors. The first is what you think of the film’s title. Does “Dead Hooker in a Trunk” make you more or less interested in the production? Does it repulse or intrigue? It will also depend on whether you’re able to accept insanity without reason or consequence. Near the end, one character remarks something along the lines of, “isn’t it weird how there have been no ramifications to any of this?” You have to be able to accept this.

Of course, there are ramifications and consequences, but none that seem to leave any lasting impact. Someone’s eye is gouged out. Another gets an arm ripped off. Multiple gunshots are fired, and most of them hit. A random scene in which one character performs wrestling moves — I’m guessing the Soska sisters are pro wrestling fans — happens in the blink of an eye. A villain has a forked penis. I’m sure I’m leaving some things out. Are you interested yet?

It’s all energetic and inventive and vulgar. You have to like exploitation films in order to become invested in this one. There aren’t going to be a lot of people who are stuck in the middle when it comes to a project titled Dead Hooker in a Trunk. You’re either going to be all the way in or so far out that you are unlikely to tolerate it even being in the same room as you. I fall into the first camp, and I enjoyed almost every minute of this crude but highly entertaining movie.

You have to have a depraved sense of humor to truly appreciate Dead Hooker in a Trunk. A lot of the film aims to be funny — with the dialogue, the over-the-top scenes, and its self-awareness — and if you watch it with friends you’ll be able to find out which ones might kill you in your sleep by listening for their laughter. I kid, of course, but if you’re someone who prefers cleaner, more family friendly affairs — first off, why are you watching a movie called Dead Hooker in a Trunk? — you’re not going to have a good time.

This is an amateur production through and through. With the terrible but endearing practical effects, the, at times, questionable sound quality, acting that leaves a lot to be desired, and some cinematography that you can tell was done by someone without a lot of experience — it’s not hard to see that this was done for cheap and by new filmmakers. It’s often the case that we applaud these type of efforts for simply being made, and it’s tempting to do that here. A movie called Dead Hooker in a Trunk got made and it’s not bad. That’s a win, folks. Part of its charm comes from the low budget aesthetic. It’s a cult hit in the waiting.

In order to reach feature length, it felt like some scenes were forced to drag on past their expiration point. A good portion of the dialogue was likely improvised and with a bunch of non-actors that means it took longer for the improvisation to get to the point. With more money for retakes the film would likely be able to be cut down to 80 minutes and not lose anything.

Part of me wants to read the original script for Dead Hooker in a Trunk to compare it to the finished product we got. The Soska sisters show a ton of creativity, and it would be interesting to see what else was planned and had to be excised due to budget limitations. Selfishly, I’d also like to see how much of the dialogue in the film differed from what was scripted. Were all those F-bombs — and there are a ton — planned or is that just what happened once everyone started talking? I’m curious.

If Dead Hooker in a Trunk‘s title doesn’t automatically cross the film off in your mind, and if low-budget aesthetics, a ton of profanity and violence, and a sick sense of humor endear you to a project, this might be a movie for you. This is an adventure movie that goes to prove how far a severely limited budget can be stretched. It’s crude and a lot of fun, assuming you like this sort of thing. It’s a film for a limited audience, but I can only guess that the talented Soska sisters wouldn’t have it any other way.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>