Red, White & Blue

Director: Simon Rumley (2010)
Starring: Amanda Fuller, Marc Senter, Noah Taylor
Find it: IMDB

True story*: sixty percent of this movie's budget was spent on duct tape. Also a true story*: so much duct tape was used during the making of Red, White & Blue that America had itself a national shortage of The Serial Killer's Favourite. Red, White & Blue is so sticky-tape happy that almost every character ends up tied up with the stuff at some point. There's a great scene in which angry Nate (Taylor) turns up outside a victim's house, several rolls of tape hanging off've his belt. I haven't seen so much duct tape used in a film since that one time I spent all evening** watching certain specialist videos on myvideo.

Erica (Fuller) is what certain people might call a 'loose woman', diving into bed with almost every man she meets. After accepting a job at a DIY store, she meets and befriends Nate, a strange fellow with an incredible beard. They form an odd-couple friendship; surprisingly sweet, given the film's reputation. Meanwhile, amateur rocker Franki (Senter) is one of Erica's conquests. The three individuals' miserable, lonely lives violently converge when a certain revelation is revelated revealed.

Red, White & Blue takes a long time to kick off, but once it does so, it happens with explosive, unforgettable results. The film is reminiscent of the British Dead Man's Shoes. Noah Taylor sports a beard that even puts Paddy Considine's to shame. It also shares with Dead Man's Shoes (my third or so favourite movie of all time, by the by) a set of semi-sympathetic 'villains' and a magnetic performance from its leading man. I've only ever seen Noah Taylor playing nice guys with weird faces. Here, he's properly intimidating. It's probably the beard. You don't fuck with a man who wears a beard like that. I had a University lecturer who wore a Red White & Blue beard. Needless to say, all of my assignments were handed in on time.

"You do not use Wikipedia as an academic reference..."

Also a nice surprise was Marc Senter. I've only ever seen him before in the Jack Ketchum adaptation The Lost. He plays an equally odd looking character here, but the tics and Jim Carrey-isms are toned down a lot. Amanda Fuller is sympathetic and vulnerable as Erica. There are no heroes or villains in Red, White & Blue; no-one to properly root for. It's a difficult, intelligent piece that's heartbreaking and hard to watch at times. Billed as a "slacker revenge movie", it proves that not all slackers are as cuddly as Simon Pegg or Nick Frost.

"G'day there; I'm your door-to-door knives & duct tape salesman."

It's the sort of movie where lonely, miserable people go around being lonely and miserable all the time. As a result, it'll probably make you feel lonely and miserable too. Unless you own shares in a duct tape company. It's basically one long advertisement for duct tape.

* not a true story.


  1. Yeah Joel, depress us! :)
    Great review for one of my favorite movies of 2011. I love movies that hit me like a hammer to the chest :)

  2. That's me; Mister Happy ;)

    Definitely. I only caught this very recently, but it would definitely have topped my Best of 2011 list if I'd seen it sooner.