Has there ever been a thoroughly enjoyable live action video game movie? The likes of everything from 1993's bizarre 'Super Mario Bros.' to last year's panned 'Silent Hill: Revelation 3D' suggest not. While not a strict adaptation of any particular video game, 'Bring Me The Head Of The Machine Gun Woman' certainly calls to mind the 'Grand Theft Auto' series in its style, which is otherwise clearly in adulation of the old school exploitation genre.
Santiago (Matías Oviedo), a video game obsessive still living with his mother, is the DJ at a local club, run by a gangster called Che Longana (Jorge Alis). In a case of the "wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time", Santiago overhears a plot to kill the scantily clad bounty hunter Machine Gun Woman (Fernanda Urrejola). To save his own life, the timid Santiago is given twenty four hours to bring her to Che, taking him into a violent world familiar to him only through his love of video games.
Santiago's next moves are seen through our eyes in the form of missions, complete with repetitive soundtrack and title graphics, which he either fails or accomplishes. The video game style is complemented by the exploitation nature as Chilean writer/director Ernesto Díaz Espinoza deposits the viewer in an era re-popularised by the efforts of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez through their 'Grindhouse' double bill. (Although the story actually takes place in a more modern context, which we learn mainly through the repeated appearances of an iPod Nano.)
'Bring Me The Head Of The Machine Gun Woman' (or 'Tráiganme La Cabeza De La Mujer Metralleta', if you prefer) is undoubtedly tongue-in-cheek - the moment when a character blows their own head off being a particularly highlight. However, it perhaps isn't quite as clever, sexy, or funny as Espinoza had hoped. Worse yet, not a single character in the film is actually likeable. At a breezy 75 minutes though, the film hurtles towards its conclusion and we can see which of our least favourite characters are brutally killed off.
'Bring Me The Head Of The Machine Gun Woman' is in limited UK cinemas now, and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on 14th Oct '13.