Bullets of Justice (2019)

During World War III, US scientists created supersoldiers by cross-breeding humans and pigs. Something went wrong, though, the “Muzzles” turned against their creators, and put human flesh on the menu. Rob Justice is a hero of the human resistance, and is sent on the ultimate mission: a dangerous journey through the post-apocalyptic wasteland to kill the “Mother” of the “Muzzles”.

The last years saw a re-emergence of the visual aesthetics of Grindhouse cinema with movies like Mandy, VFW and Brawl in Cell Block 99. All these filmed were rather structured and controlled affairs, though, and devoid of the hysterical and amateurish chaos often encountered in the Exploitation and Grindhouse classics of the 1970s and 1980s. Enter Bullets of Justice as a new contender for a proper 21st century Grindhouse flick. The movie is the brainchild of director/writer/producer Valeri Milev and writer/main actor/composer/producer Timur Turisbekov. Its generic title suggests we’re in for another C-grade actioner, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The first five minutes already indicate that Bullets of Justice may be a very special experience indeed. A pig-man on a killing spree flies around with a jetpack and a midget strapped to his back, and is brought down by our hero Rob with a harpoon. When the name Rob Justice is mentioned for the first time, the last doubts are dispersed that we’re in for anything else but a high-grade campy romp, and things get only more weird and twisted after that.

Despite its campy attitude, the world of Bullets of Justice is filthy, brutal and disgusting. It is an action movie at its core, but succeeds in providing an uncanny mix of extreme violence and gore, plenty of other gross incidents, and moments of absurd humor. Sometimes I laughed out loud, and sometimes I just wanted to look away. In essence, Bullets of Justice is merely a succession of fights, bizarre dialogues and seemingly random genre tropes muddled together, including cyborgs, telekinetic powers and time travel. And yet it works, the different elements are woven together fairly seamlessly, and there’s never a dull moment.

The acting blends in well with the overall insanity, with everyone being pretty good at screaming and yelling, and completely amateurish whenever there are any regular conversations. In addition, the English dialogues are spoken by Eastern European actors with very thick accents. And even the most ridiculous lines are delivered with a completely straight face, which only adds to the weird charm this movie radiates. Danny Trejo makes a very short and rather unnecessary appearance, that was most likely included for marketing purposes.

The production quality is as good as it can get for a low-budget production. Shot partially in some large ruined industrial areas and city landscapes, the setting is perfect. The cinematography, costumes and color composition are top notch and create a quite unique look. The action choreography is also more than solid, with plenty of well-staged shootouts and fights. Practical and CGI effects are used frequently, and look pretty good for a B-movie. And the make-up department did a great job to make everything and everyone look filthy and dirty almost all the time (even during sex scenes).

Bullets of Justice is incredibly creative and energetic, but also completely deranged with a sick off-beat vibe. In any case, it’s a prime example for a well-done modern Grindhouse movie.

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