Directed by: Tamra Davis
Written by: Matthew Bright
Starring: Drew Barrymore, James LeGros, Billy Drago, Rodney Harvey, Joe Dallesandro
Sex and intimacy have continually been inextricably linked with each of them serving as their own separate service to human desires. Their connection never gets more shattered when it comes to someone facing sexual abuse by everyone around them. Something Guncrazy begins displaying some level of incisiveness, however as it falls into simply being a Bonnie and Clyde rip-off, it disintegrates into something unappealing and abjectly gross.
Abused by her stepfather and essentially used for sex by every other boy she meets, Anita (Drew Barrymore) finds the courage and conviction to kill her stepfather. Shortly after, she gets involved in a relationship with a recent prisoner, as they begin to go on quite the killing spree in this hometown.
While being sloppily made in nearly every capacity of filmmaking, the one redeeming factor of this feature comes from Anita’s sad development in life. Horrifically sexually abused, her relationship to sex suffered deeply in the sense of how she associates it with apparent care from the other males around her. While the abuse is something she wishes would stop, it has made her more willing to engage with others in the search for some level of affection from boys her age. It culminates in a heartbreaking sequence of a trio of guys convincing her to let them use her for sex to which she agrees simply because they make her believe they like her. A frustrating sequence to watch but one that defines how this character views sex and intimacy along with the control she has to manage both. This film had something strong to build off of but then it all goes downhill as it only gets grosser and then irredeemable with how the narrative unfolds.
With the main protagonist struggling with the sexual abuse she has received, having the next phase of the movie take place with a much older man gives off this incredibly mucky exploitative sense of where the narrative wants to take the story forward. It certainly draws its influences from the 1967 feature starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, but the relationship dynamic on display just leaves a sour taste. It makes sense from the perspective of Anita but as a narrative feature, it takes away from the sympathy of this character for the sake of adding some level of salaciousness to the story. Having this all center around a teenage girl also makes it so much worse when falling into being exploitative. It shifts what could have been an impactful film into something horrifically conceived.
This film’s carelessness truly puts to waste a heartbreaking performance by Drew Barrymore where she embodies this sense of sadness and naivete pushing this character forward. You get the sense she’s incredibly young making these incredibly difficult decisions, which serves as a testament to her abilities as an actor but she receives no favor from the film itself and its portrayal of her. Especially when getting into the second and third act, Barrymore acted circles around everyone else and ultimately gets let down by her supporting cast.
It would be one thing for this feature to fixate on the dangers of women and the way they fight back as many exploitative films do so, but it becomes inexcusable that this all centers around the experience of a teenage girl. Several other films have run with this plot of revenge against men following something brutal happening to the woman but the keyword at play is “woman.” Having a literal child be the focal point of a story utilizing her as a sex object simply just speaks poorly on everyone involved and once it shifts to be like Bonnie and Clyde, it went from ill-conceived to completely predictable in the worst ways.
A whole mess and a complete misfire, Guncrazy wastes the talent of an incredible actor and manages to take a B-movie plot and screw it all up in the worst ways. Such an interesting feature to serve as a debut for Tamra Davis as a director, but luckily she shifted her focus into the comedic world and her collaborations with Chris Rock seeing as she did not suit this material at all. Heck, this junk would not be suitable for anyone but yet here we are having to talk about it. Completely unnecessary and something that does not need to ever exist. Chuck it in the bin.