Sweet Karma on DVD

Monday, 06 September 2010 09:11

Shera Bechard stars as Karma, a stunningly beautiful femme fatale with just one thing on her mind: revenge. Karma’s sister, Anna (Patricia Stasiak) signed up to a scheme which purports to export attractive Russian ladies from their Motherland to Toronto to become exotic dancers. Unfortunately, Anna has gone missing and Karma suspects that the gang responsible for the immigrants may not have their best interests at heart.

Once she has tracked down the gang’s base, Karma intends to get to the boss, brutally executing anyone who is unfortunate enough to get in her way. As she faces a criminal organisation full of brutish, armed thugs, she is going to have to use stealth, intelligence and her not inconsiderable feminine assets to complete her mission. It will not be easy, not least because she is a mute, but she will not stop until the boss is dead, or she is. “Sweet Karma” is a low budget, independently made thriller with a fair amount of style and some effective direction.

Sweet Karma on DVDAndrew Thomas Hunt makes the most of his limited resources, and whilst most of the acting will not set the world on fire, there are enough stereotypical henchmen and cosmetically enhanced dancers to breathe life into this seedy underworld. The criminals are misogynistic, egotistical scum with no redeeming qualities. We are supposed to despise them and hope they get their comeuppance, and we certainly do!

Bechard stands head and shoulders over the rest of the cast. Without being able to utter a single line of dialogue, she has her work cut out for her but copes admirably, using her facial expressions and body language to clearly communicate her feelings and bloody intentions. She expertly treads the fine line between capability and vulnerability, calmly killing a handler one minute, then fleeing in terror the next. Her hastily-concocted plans do not always pan out the way she expects them to, and her predicament makes for pretty nervy viewing.

Some of her hits are more elaborate than others, and one in particular will have the male members of the audience laughing and reeling in equal measure! There is a lot of violence and sexual action in this movie, and not all of it is easy to stomach. I could not shake the feeling that the director is a little too eager to make his film feel as sleazy and titillating as possible. Yes, it concerns the retribution of a strong female character, but it also exploits women at every possible opportunity.

If Hunt had toned this aspect down just a little, the movie would have ended up feeling less like a porn film with a decent plot, and more like a sexy thriller that wants to be taken seriously. There is, however, an unexpected plot twist at the end that elevates the story from predictable to passable.

The DVD’s sole special feature is a trailer. The majority of the language is in English, though the switch between Russian and English sometimes appears to be a little random.

“Sweet Karma” (2009) is released on DVD on 13 September 2010, courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment. The running time of the main feature is 85 minutes approx, certificate ‘18’ and the movie retails for £15.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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