JUDY & PUNCH (2019)

(Hulu/hoopla/kanopy/VOD) One trend that I love with genre films nowadays is how many women actors are getting chances at directing their own pieces. I just mentioned Brea Grant yesterday — still probably best known for her performance in HEROES — but also BLACK CHRISTMAS (2019) director Sophia Takal, HAPPIEST SEASON director Mary Holland, cult comedian and PREVENGE’s Alice Lowe, THE WOMAN’s Pollyanna McIntosh helming DARLIN’ and, also, Mirrah Foulkes who directed JUDY & PUNCH, but has also appeared in THE CROWN, TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL, and ANIMAL KINGDOM.

As you may suspect from the name, JUDY & PUNCH is a revenge twist on the British puppet theater/domestic violence mainstay, while still taking place in the 17th century, but also has witches (of a sort). It’s an odd genre film with very specific music choices, including a very idiosyncratic soundtrack that includes a lot of anachronistic synth covers, and an oddly unnecessary cover of LAIBACH’s cover of OPUS’ -Life is Life-. It’s not perfect, and there is a lot of abuse, but I’ll take weird swings like this any day of the week.

Sadly, the film runs a bit long — the middle feels more than a little padded — but when you have Mia Wasikowska (CRIMSON PEAK, STOKER) and Damon Herriman (ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, but he’ll always be Dewey Crowe from JUSTIFIED to me), I’d also be tempted to fight to include every scene you shot.