The title character of Cherry Bomb is an exotic dancer (played by Julin Jean) at a club whose name I can't repeat here. The movie gets to its main point pretty early- Cherry is hired to entertain a room full of guys who end up raping her and she ends up in the hospital from it. She finds out that basically nothing has been done to convict those responsible, so she escapes from the hospital as soon as she can and calls on her brother Brandon (John Rodriquez) to help her bring them to justice her way- by acquiring a supply of guns and hunting them down. Although Brandon asks her to think about what she's doing, he still helps her out. Once the bad guys figure out what she's doing, they enlist a large hitman named Bull (Allen Hackley) to take out Cherry and her brother.
That's pretty much the plot of this 82-minute movie. Cherry Bomb is one of those movies you have to watch in the right frame of mind to enjoy. It may seem cheap and exploitative, but that's the point of it- just like the two movies in Grindhouse weren't meant to be Oscar material, neither was this. It's intended as an homage to action and revenge-themed movies. Yes, the acting is rather amateurish with some laughable dialogue, but the filmmakers are clearly aware of this. Although not stated directly in the movie, the trailer for it says that it takes place in 1984 which helps put things further in context. There are a few nods to movies from that era, including a club called "Tech Noir" which you may remember from a little movie called The Terminator that came out that year. Some of the violence is a bit over-the-top, particularly the final killing in the movie, but the effects are rather cartoonish. One notable omission from Cherry Bomb is the initial rape itself- While Death Wish for example pulled few punches in its depictions of the attacks on the hero's wife and daughter, here the movie cuts to black right before things start getting ugly, although a couple of seconds-long flashbacks are shown later as Cherry reflects on the incident. This is explained in the commentary track which I'll discuss later.
Cherry Bomb is presented in 2.35. According to IMDB it was shot entirely using a digital format, but many scenes look like grainy film- there are a couple exceptions that look a bit more video-like, including some that reveal limitations of the source's resolution (mainly the lines on a character's sportcoat in one scene.) In addition to the film grain the colors are also muted a bit intentionally in keeping with the flavor of the movie and the films that inspired it.
Audio is in 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio with an alternate 2-channel Dolby Digital track. Dialogue is very clear, and while sound effects won't really blow you away they are adequate considering the low budget. I also enjoyed Jason Latimer's rock and electronic flavored music score, which is faithful to those of 1980s action movies.
No subtitles or captions are included.
An informative commentary track is included which helps to further explain this movie's purpose. Although it's listed as just being with director/producer Kyle Day, he's also joined by writer Garrett Hargrove, editor David Ward, and producer Jason Latimer. They confirm that they intended Cherry Bomb to be an homage to 1980s action movies and acknowledge that some of the dialogue is a bit cheesy while mocking it, and also that they're aware some things seen in the movie may not have existed in 1984. They particularly reference The Terminator frequently as an inspiration, although there are no science-fiction elements present here. As I mentioned earlier, they talk about how the title character's rape scene was restrained- a full scene was written and planned out, but the actors were not comfortable performing it and it was decided that shooting it would have been too exploitative so it was ultimately scrapped. They mainly wanted this to be a "fun" movie and not taken seriously. One comment I particularly liked was how the movie was screened at a drive-in theater and it was felt that the music and overall sound mix wasn't appreciated there. While I am certainly fan of "drive-in" type movies, I have never liked drive-in theaters because the sound just isn't up to par.
There is also an outtake reel and four brief deleted scenes, plus an extended ending where a few wrap-up scenes are inserted into the end credits. A trailer for Cherry Bomb is also included, which confirms the movie is set in 1984. The disc opens with trailers for Strippers Vs Werewolves (with dialogue only in the left channel, that had to have been a mistake) and Splintered. All of these are presented in HD with 2-channel sound.
Cherry Bomb is not a great movie nor was it ever meant to be. If you "get" it, meaning that you can keep in mind this was meant to be an homage to "revenge movies", you'll probably enjoy it. If you expect great acting and realism however, you will probably disregard it as trash.
Pictures in this review were taken from the movie's official site and are not representative of the Blu-Ray disc's quality.
Jesse Skeen is a life-long obsessive media collector (with an unhealthy preoccupation with obsolete and failed formats) and former theater film projectionist. He enjoys watching movies and strives for presenting them perfectly, but lacks the talent to make his own.