One of the most genius instruments in a filmmaker's toolbox is to subvert expectations. No Country for Old Men is barely recognizable as a traditional western by the time you get to it's lethargic, nihilistic, and anti-climatic ending.
Memento dared to do a narrative film in the complete backward order and then Irreversible somehow managed to re-invent that same "new" concept just a little over a year later.
With a title like "Mistress Maneater", the way this film opens, and the subject matter of a dangerous romance between a Russian mob-connected Dominatrix and a cage fighter turned Priest trying not to slip back into old habits...
You might have an idea in your head already about how this will play out. I can assure you however that wherever your mind is going with what I've told you? You're wrong.
Instead of taking the easy way out, the triple threat writer, producer, and star of Mistress Maneater - the lovely Lorissa Julianus decides to turn this concept on its head as a...romantic comedy?
Sure, there's some tense drama and action and it's certainly a far cry from "Annie Hall" or "When Harry met Sally" - but wow, it works!
The dialogue is well written, snappy, and very witty. The jokes land 99.9% percent of the time and to the writer's credit, she even pokes fun at herself more than once in hilariously self-deprecating ways that feel completely undeserved!
Even on the very few and far between occasions where the joke didn't work for me - the performances and delivery at the very least made me crack a smile. Speaking of performances, everyone is bringing their absolute A-game to this film.
Shannon Brown as Gabe (perhaps an unintentional pun - Gaybe?) is hysterical as Lorissa's audaciously arrant gay best friend. He could've easily been cliche but his portrayal feels very progressive and genuine. You can tell there was a lot of thought put into writing his part and his performance is nothing short of genius - harkening back to the days of Nathan Lane, Harvey Fierstein, or perhaps a (somewhat) classier version of a character from a classic John Waters film.
Bonnie Morgan is a delight, its nice to see her stretch her acting legs a bit (no pun intended). I loved her in Hap and Leonard where she was one of at least two equally dazzling, beautiful, and talented redheads. Her sister, Molly, is no different and shines equally bright.
This film showcases the talent of Mickey O'Sullivan as well. The quintessential Irishman's Man is surprisingly believable as the tortured and tragic Father Radovan. The moments of sincerity and emotion between himself and his mother are very endearing and his turn as a romantic foil for Ava (Lorissa Julianus) just speaks to his dramatic and comedic range.
Saving the best for last, Lorissa Julianus...
What can I possibly say?
Pardon my French (or perhaps Russian...) but Holy S%$t! Lorissa is an amazingly talented actress. She knows her range quite well and disappears into the titular role.
She has found her niche as a tough sardonic and sarcastic boss-chick with a heart of gold. Her character arc isn't just skillfully written but entirely believable. By the end, when the romance is finally allowed to blossom and the two leads have room to breathe, it doesn't feel rushed or forced. It feels well earned.
The type of character Lorissa plays in Mistress Maneater fits into so many different genres.
You could easily drop her into a "500 Days of Summer" or "Scott Pilgrim" type of role and it'd be believable, you could place her into a gritty sci-fi to be what Gina Carano is to The Mandalorian or you could even throw her into a bloody 1970s Grindhouse piece akin to "Kill Bill", "Faster Pussycat Kill Kill" or a female-driven "Evil Dead" type of film and it would still work regardless.
I look at her and her skill and see the same potential and talent of a young Bruce Campbell or Lucy Lawless. A true character actress and the makings of a future cult icon. I hope someday Mistress Maneater becomes as recognizable of a franchise and character as Ripley, Sarah Connor, or Lara Croft.
Lorissa, CJ, and the entire cast and crew of Binary Star Productions are definitely destined for big things and hopefully, I'll be lucky enough to be apart of some of them!
I'm giving the Misadventures of Mistress Maneater four "groaning and grunting text notifications" out of a possible five
Go watch it guys!
The Misadventures of Mistress Maneater
The Misadventures of Mistress Maneater
Ava Moriarty, Art History PhD dropout-turned-dominatrix, wants OUT. But there's no safeword for golden handcuffs. When her mobster ex gives her 30 days to repay a massive loan, she's forced to agree to one last job--seducing and extorting "Father Dracula," a small town Episcopal priest. But Father Radovan Markovic brought his own secrets from Serbia, and moonlights as an MMA fighter while unwittingly hiding the world's greatest lost painting. Not to mention he's the one hot guy avoiding Ava like loose glitter. Certain he's embezzling a priceless art collection, will she win his heart only to destroy his life, or doom herself to a custom pair of concrete stilettos?
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
October 31, 2020 at 07:52 PM