Candy Land: A group of sex-workers live in a motel at a truck stop in Montana. The corrupt local Sheriff deals with any problems and only hits on the sole male hustler, Levi, for freebies. The lives of the women and man are not sugarcoated, the grim reality of the acts they perform and dangers they face is graphically portrayed, the alternative being minimum wage jobs. In one disturbing scene Levi is brutally assaulted by a client. The women are mildly amused by members of a religious cult who want them to repent but when a teen girl runs away from the sect they take her in. Thus is very much a slasher film as mutilated bodies start to pile up. Some being the girl's customers, others seemingly killed at random. Some interesting plot twists and a lot of gore with shocking scenes of murder, mayhem and mutilation. This is all just blood off a victim's back to horror fans but be warned! The slasher has an intriguing weapon of choice which fits in well with this tale of old time religion meeting up with sex-workers. Directed and Written by John Swab. 7.5/10.
Horror / Thriller
Horror / Thriller
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A seemingly naive and devout young woman finds her way in the underground world of truck stop sex workers a.k.a. "lot lizards."
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Religion Meets Sex-workers
This little gem was surprisingly awesome.
Opening scene: 10/10. Newb producer, writer and director John Swab sure knows how to capture and maintain the audiences attention. This is Swab's only sixth filmmaking credit, and although not perfect, there is not one dull moment throughout the film's comfortable 93 min runtime. The pacing was decent for the most part, and his directing and camera shots were excellent. Even the colorful cast of outcasts performed well, although Olivia Luccardi as Remy could've used better cast direction in the first half. The story itself was a combination of genres mixed together and it actually worked. It wasn't perfect writing, but all this put together by a relatively inexperienced filmmaker was impressive. It's certainly worth at least a one-time watch, and a well deserved 8/10 from me.
Candy Land is another good example that it doesn't take a lot of different sets or a huge budget to create a visually appealing work - what a nice cinematography, but even better, what an incredible editing! - that, at the same time, fulfills its goals of entertaining with quality.
All this could seem like a kind of sexploitation. That's what the beginning of the first act implies. Calm down. Let those who already had stones to throw calm down. Let those who thought they were going to watch a porno also calm down. The first 15 minutes show more explicit nudity than what we're used to in North American cinema (which, truth be told, is very limited),but that's pretty much the end of it. Better yet, these women are true characters, all of them are very well built and are dignified by a story that doesn't just want to show their tits nor wants them to be seen only with pity. They do what they have to do, things are going relatively well and they form a real team with moments of real camaraderie that are very well-built. There's also a man in the same circumstances, but Candy Land's greatest triumph is that it's always interesting in the way it tells its story and explores gray areas.
Even when it commits excesses - such slaughter in such a short space of time makes us have to question our credulity in the story - it continues to be a work with something to say and very well constructed. It is in its excesses that it also has many of its virtues, but it is in its simplicity that its characters conquer us. It tells us a lot about prejudice, religious fanaticism, and friendship, without forgetting to entertain us and give us a real bloodbath.