Cherry Bomb

The title refers to a stripper (Julin Jean, The Final) who is raped on the job by five guys in the “champagne room” at 3 a.m. Because one of them is a big construction honcho in the community and properly lawyered up, the cops do nothing.

In revenge, her estranged brother (John Rodriguez) accidentally kills the tweaker one who looks like Chubby Keith Urban, while Cherry stabs one on the dance floor while “disguised” in a ridiculous Farrah Fawcett-Majors wig. From there, they team up, offing another one of her attackers with a method that suggests they swiped discarded notes from Jigsaw. Bizarrely, the film’s final “get” is shown to viewers in the opening scene.

Give Cherry Bomb a wrong turn, and director Kyle Day and scripter Garrett Hargrove — feature first-timers both — take it. The movie is neither exciting, suspenseful, sexy nor anything it attempts to be. Several scenes reek of self-parody, except that the film is not presented as a joke. According to the commentary, it’s a John Carpenter homage — a baffling claim they back up with no such evidence.

Game and chipper as Jean may be, the acting is across-the-board atrocious, although I’m not entirely convinced the fault lies with the performers. One of the main bad guys is played by a porn star named Nick Manning (I Love Anal and Worship My Schoolgirl Ass are among his 500-plus credits, per IMDb); I point that out only because Cherry Bomb plays so amateurish, it’s like a porno with no sex. —Rod Lott

Rod Lott

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