Directed by Joseph M Monks
Written by Joseph M Monks
Starring Saskia Gonzalez, Terry M West, Ron Sheppard
Teresa Vicario, Charles Devos and Ms. Veronique
Where to start with this one?? First I guess I need to say fore the sake of full disclosure Terry West is some one I call friend, and Joseph M Monks is a man very well regarded in my current circle of industry chaps, and for good reason which i will get into a bit in a moment, but first I will do my best not to let those things color my review.
The Bunker is a groundbreaking film which has already earned a spot in history thanks to its writer and director Joseph M Monks. Why??? Well you see when Joseph directed this indie flick he was already blind due to diabetic retinopathy, pretty impressive right? And rightfully has ensured him a spot in film history, I read a quote by him not too long ago that I found just an amazing example of his perspective and it went something like this (paraphrasing)... Blindness may take your sight but it cant take your vision... So with that in mind lets turn, finally, to the film itself.
Julia (Saskia Gonzalez) is a teen girl finding it difficult to follow her daddies rules, not unlike many teens. The difference for her is that daddie is running for re- election. He expects her to abide by a certain decorum, one befitting a congressman's family. Julia doesn't agree that his choice in jobs should rule her life and hits the streets. And its not the first time, but this time is different., Julia finds herself in the clutches of a mad man(Terry M West) counting down her days... Is there any hope or is all lost for Julia and her family?
The film starts out with a lovely dominatrix clad in latex and heels working over a client (?) for a story he knows, and she wants to hear, then segways into a flashback, the harrowing sad tale of Julia and the mad man who kidnapped her...
The Bunker is a film filled with tight close ups that really lend themselves to the claustrophobic feeling of what life in this underground bunker is for poor young Julia. Saskia Gonzalez starts a little weak, in my opinion, but grows into a pretty strong actress as the film progresses making you really empathize for her in her situation until by the end you are wrapped up in her personal plight for freedom and regrets for her past mistakes.
Terry M West plays the serial killing mad man, who has kidnapped our young victim, he's brash, in your face, senses assaulting. Even when he isn't putting Julia through hell, I found him just unlikable on every level. His portrayal is smarmy, dirty if you will, and left me impressed with his ability to deliver a combative, angry, lowlife, (especially when I happen to know what a great guy he is in real life).
Joseph M Monks wrote a pretty tight story, with some nice twists to the genre and although this is a small budget film it is still pretty nicely produced, with fairly polished end result. I thoroughly enjoyed the score, the music accompanies well without over taking anything, its a soundtrack worth picking up if available. The dominatrix from the beginning isn't ever fully explained but I felt that she was simply a vehicle to move the story from a past perspective rather than shooting from the present, as if the film were almost a narrative tale with a moral, similar to say Aesop's fables.
This is a film that is a bit of a slow burn and inspires a bit of thought, its not going to be everyone's cup of tea but I really enjoyed it. Its character / story driven, with some really cool twists, so if your looking for something that's a bit off the radar, thoughtful and inspired in its own horrific way you should check this one out. And don't forget folks this is modern movie making history we are getting to watch making this one a film I am happy to say I own and will revisit again!
On top of the various positive aspects of this award winning film, it came with an added bonus that I have to mention. Inside the case I found the sweet surprise of a mini comic that was really spectacular, called SICK 'N TWISTED. You see Josephs talents go far beyond screen writing and directing (oh and acting did I mention his cameo in The Bunker?). He is also a published author, with an affection for comics. Sick N Twisted is a really cool piece for any collection and to top it off its really good! The story is stellar and is the kind of tale that should be told on cold dark stormy nights when the power goes out or perhaps under the stars sitting around a campfire. I will most certainly be looking for more from Joseph M Monks in the future both for my viewing and reading enjoyment!
If you would like to get more information on Joseph M Monks current projects visit his website http://www.joemonks.com/ .