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Nordling Says Michael Biehn's THE VICTIM Is A Fun Sleazy Grindhouse Film!

Nordling here.

When Michael Biehn was working on Xavier Gens' THE DIVIDE, he was wondering what he could do once the shoot was over.  He spotted one of the crew reading Robert Rodriguez's REBEL WITHOUT A CREW and a seed of an idea was born in his mind - he should make a movie himself.  That idea became THE VICTIM, Michael Biehn's own entry into the grindhouse genre, and it's quite a bit of fun for the budget it has - a twisted, sleazy little film that will make grindhouse fans quite happy.

Although Biehn didn't have a giant budget, he spends his money well in the actors he hires, and in the setting.  Biehn paid attention when he worked with Rodriguez and Eli Roth, and it shows in his film.  The result is a sexy, fun little grindhouse film, true to the genre and for a first-time director, a satisfactory effort.

Kyle (Michael Biehn) is a recluse, living in a cabin in the woods listening to self-help books and living a quiet, unassuming life.  We don't know much about him, but we get the idea that he's running from something in his past.  But the world manages to catch up to him in the form of Annie (Jennifer Blanc-Biehn).  Annie and her friend Mary (Danielle Harris) were on a date with Sheriff's deputies Harrison (Ryan Honey) and Cooger (Danny Kirkwood).  When Mary and Harrison sneak off for a little bit of kinky sex, Harrison accidentally kills Mary.  But Annie sees what happened, and Harrison and Cooger need to prevent her from going to the police, so now they are after her.  But they didn't count on Kyle.  In the meantime, through flashbacks, we hear that a serial killer is also on the loose.  How this figures into the plot is best discovered by the audience, but it did leave me smiling as I left the theater with a terrific punchline in the final scene.

Biehn pushes his actors to 11 in regards to their performances.  This is a grindhouse film, after all, and subtlety isn't really on the menu.  But you can tell they are having fun and making the lack of budget work for them.  Jennifer Blanc-Biehn plays both the damsel in distress and the sexy love interest very well, and Biehn uses her in the film to maximum effect.  When you can't spend a lot of money, sexy sells in grindhouse films, and Biehn is well aware of that.  The performances from the deputies are over-the-top when they need to be, especially Ryan Honey, who plays his seedy character with gusto.

Biehn gives his all in his performance - almost to the point that it's unhealthy, as in one fight scene he literally tapped out unconscious.  So you can't say Biehn doesn't care - he cares quite a bit about the final product.  As a director, Biehn comes from a place of reality and truth, even in the grindhouse genre, and it's a no-nonsense mode of working.  Many first films aren't as direct as THE VICTIM - Biehn has a clear path to what he's shooting for, and for much of the film's running time, he gets it.  He's not a perfect director, to be sure - one driving montage scene goes on a bit too long and feels like padding - but he understands the film he's making isn't Merchant/Ivory either.  It's a specific genre with a specific style, and working from that, Biehn gets way more right than he does wrong.

Michael Biehn, along with his wife Jennifer, will be bringing THE VICTIM to Houston to show at Splatterfest 2011.  He's screened it across the country at verious horror festivals to great responses, and he'll be in attendance here screening THE VICTIM, along with the world premiere of Odyssee Picture's JACOB, which he plays a supporting role.  Tickets are available through the Splatterfest website, and Biehn will be available for autographs and pictures at the event.  If you're here in town, check out THE VICTIM and see a first-time director cut his teeth in making movies.  

I'd be very curious to see how Biehn would fare with a budget behind him - as it stands, he knows what he wants in his film, and more often than not, he hits the mark.  Biehn's been quite busy lately, with THE VICTIM, JACOB, PUNCTURE, and THE DIVIDE, and he's one of our favorite character actors in geek cinema.  I'm glad he's back.

Nordling, out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 18, 2011, 6:44 p.m. CST


    by Professor_Bedlam

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 6:49 p.m. CST


    by maxjohnson1971

    And second.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 7:10 p.m. CST

    Cool beans

    by Teddy Artery

    Uh, I meant "Biehn".

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Cool Biehns


  • Sept. 18, 2011, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Guess I should have expanded the post above...


    now I look like a leaky asshole.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 8:10 p.m. CST

    Part 2 of Biehn interview

    by Extr3m1st

    What ever happened to that?? I will definitely watch this movie BTW. His wife is a hot piece of ass (pretty good actress too from what I have seen of her so far) and I love me some Biehn.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 8:59 p.m. CST

    part 2 of the interview was posted the same day as part 1

    by Tigger Tales

    and i believe the link is on part 1's page

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 10:11 p.m. CST


    by AvadaKedavrainthearseohsnap

    That was funny. Also, my favorite role by him is still Cpl. Hicks in "Aliens". I think he would make a fun addition to Expendables 2 as a secondary villain to Bruce Willis' Mr. Church.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 11:08 p.m. CST

    Michael Biehn

    by BuffDaddy

    Is a God. His sperm creates Navy SEALS. Plus, the SEALS use it as a protein shake during "Hell Week"! Biehn was the SEAL that raped ObL's wives in front of his very own eyes, then he raped and murked ObL with a Call of Duty: Streets of Detroit headshot.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 11:50 p.m. CST

    him + Luke Skywalker

    by Calico Pete

    Can't wait to see him with Mark Hamill and Tony Todd in Sushi Girl. Trailer looks pretty kickass.

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 11:53 p.m. CST


    by Mennen

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 2:35 a.m. CST

    Danielle Harris is the only reason you need to see this

    by Mark

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 3:18 a.m. CST


    by Arkhaminmate001

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 6:10 a.m. CST


    by FatSeagal

    You want a Tinker, Tailor review? It's crap. Boring, drawn out and nicely acted crap. This, on the other hand, sounds like fun. Can't wait for Cineworld to not show it.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 8:48 a.m. CST


    by 2for2true

    Big Fan.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 9:01 a.m. CST


    by stellanskarsgaard

    = various

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 10:59 a.m. CST

    knew Tinker Tailor would get this reception. Boring = no guns

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    Actually, it is very, very good. With the source material and the director and cast it has, it would have been harder to make a bad film than a good one. How on earth they managed to get greenlit in these Vin Diesel and Jason Bourne days is beyond me. If you want guns and muscles and rapper actors, you've got plenty of choice. Let people who enjoy quality cinema get theirs, for once.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Can't wait to see this!

    by TheWrathOfSean

    I really like his characters. And the fact that a lot of what I like about them comes from his input makes me want to see this even more.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Biehn is a legend

    by kwisatzhaderach

    SLY: Get Biehn in The Expendables 2. CAMERON: Get Biehn in Avatar 2 + 3. That is all.

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Although this is the wrong forum to write it in.......

    by david starling

    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is indeed magnificent, and I question whether fatseagal has seen it. Or whether he viewed the trailer and decided it was crap - I hear this so much these days!! But anyway!! Always had a soft spot for Michael Beihn, and I hope this manages to somehow make it to the UK cinema circuit. Dammit, another film I have to see somewhen!!

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 5:07 p.m. CST

    I love Biehn. I hope he considers The Expendables 2

    by IronEagle74

    Even though he apparently said he doesn't need Sly, I can't believe he'd turn down an opportunity like that. It was a nice gesture by Sly, and Biehn threw it back at his face.

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 2:55 a.m. CST

    Extra tinkering

    by FatSeagal

    Your opinion doesn't agree with mine, thusly I conclude you must not have seen the film. Not true, I have seen it and it left me cold. Oh, and this film does have guns in it.

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Needs Wild Bill

    by Drew

    Biehn and Paxton Always guaranteed to get me watching a movie

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 7:09 a.m. CST

    Great to see him back in more high profile films

    by alan_poon

    Proves he's no has Biehn.

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Is his name really Kyle in this??

    by Chopper

    So is he playing Kyle Reese again? Is this movie cannon with the terminator?

  • Sept. 20, 2011, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Sounds fun, will check it out

    by bottombrick

    And love that main character's name is Kyle. What a great nod

  • He blows your fucking mind by embracing the grindhouse world after being one of the greatest things in Grindhouse.