Landmine Goes Click, 2015
Written and directed by Levan Bakhia
Starring Sterling Knight, Spencer Locke, Dean Geyer, Kote Tolordava
Trapped standing on an armed landmine, an American tourist is forced to watch helplessly while his girlfriend is terrorized and brutally assaulted.
There’s an audacity to Levan Bakhia’s Landmine Goes Click, a film drenched in misogyny, trying desperately to find existential reasoning in its warped examination of patriarchy. Bakhia isn’t saying anything about the male mind-set, or making a statement on parents, he’s simply playing out a misogynist fantasy of male driven power under the guise of a poorly made, lamely nasty genre flick.
Three American backpackers, Alicia (Spencer Locke), her fiancé Daniel (Dean Geyer) and Chris (Sterling Knight) wander through the mountains of Georgia where Daniel has Chris perform a non-binding marriage ceremony. Devi, a local park ranger arranges for a photo which “inadvertadly” leads to Chris stepping on a landmine. Devi then disappears in order to find help, giving Daniel the opportunity to reveal that this was all part of his plan to enact revenge on his fiancé for sleeping with Chris. It all comes off as a series of messy coincidences.
Leering hunter Ilya (Kote Tolordova) a lazy, xenophobic caricature seen only in the Daily Mail, stumbles upon the situation. Nonsensical decision making ultimately leads to humiliation and sadistic assault, leading to a final section, that comes off as a lame attempt to remake Funny Games or Killer Joe. A mother and daughter find themselves paying the price for the actions of Ilya, allowing Chris to enact his revenge like a cut-price Charles Bronson.
All this comes off less as an audacious attempt at paying homage, more as an inexplicably horrid, deeply irritating conclusion. It’s nothing but purely lazy filmmaking. There is no attempt at creating genuine characters that resemble actual people, their motives have little to no credibility and any attempt at studying the psyche of a group of sociopaths would be far too much to ask.
At just over two hours, Landmine Goes Click is also far too long. The bulk of the film could be cut down to five minutes while the final third has no real reasoning to it. Yet credit where credit is due to Spencer Locke who does all she can with a horribly unforgiving role. It’s all far too easy to imagine Lecvan Bakhia leering at Locke as she pretends to be a dog, underwear in her mouth.
Nasty isn’t necessarily bad. The final 15 minutes of Killer Joe is nasty, Michael Haneke’s Funny Games (both the American remake and the German original) are truly nasty, but they are directed with an audacity and confidence that Bakhia fails to find.
Superficial, morally empty and lazily unpleasant, Landmine Goes Click comes off as a grotesque male fantasy bogged down in faux-existential bullshit.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★