Mad Cowgirl (2006)
Directed by Gregory Hatanaka

Artistic & Entertainment Value: * * ½

DVD In Association with
Rent DVDs online!
In the USA:
Try Netflix For Free.In the UK:

Therese (Sarah Lassez), a health inspector who loves eating beef and is obsessed with a cheesy martial arts television program, is having affairs with several different men, including a sleazy preacher (Walter Koenig) who is running a low budget televised ministry. Her odd life is, to her horror, disturbed after her brother, Thierry (James Duval), gives her some Canadian beef contaminated with mad cow disease. She eats the stuff and promptly develops brain tumors, which drive the now dying woman insane and lead her to believe that she has been given a mission to kill the 'Ten Tigers of Kwangtung,' who just happen to be people she knows.

Gregory Hatanaka's Mad Cowgirl is certainly a weird movie. Unfortunately, it is not nearly as entertaining as it could have been.

Photobucket Photobucket

There are actually a fair number of things in Mad Cowgirl that are amusing, and the film does include a good many interesting ideas. For instance, the director creates an odd sense of unreality with his blurring of ethnic and linguistic barriers. Therese, though obviously Caucasian, has a mother who is Vietnamese. Her Indian doctor speaks to her in his own language, which she understands, and she answers him in English, which he understands. The film's unique atmosphere is further enhanced by such details as the heroine's love of beef, which she eats in huge quantities in numerous scenes, her devotion to a wildly atrocious martial arts show, her obsession with different Christian sects, and her numerous sexual adventures, which include relations with her brother, the televangelist with whom she is captivated (and to whose image on television she masturbates), and a stranger she meets in a pornographic theater.

The conclusion of Mad Cowgirl is especially entertaining. The heroine, now on her delusional quest to slaughter the 'Ten Tigers of Kwangtung,' is shown killing those she knows in various grisly ways. Fortunately, these events are depicted very stylishly. The director presents his final act using split screens, dramatic camera angles, bold lighting, silhouettes, and the like, which details are largely borrowed from action films from Hong Kong and Japan.

Photobucket Photobucket

Although there are obviously many things I enjoyed in Mad Cowgirl, I have to admit that, taken as a whole, the movie just does not work . It is, sadly, rather boring throughout much of its duration. The conclusion is fun, but it is not nearly fun enough to redeem the tedium that came before it.

As much as I would like to praise Mad Cowgirl, I cannot. It is a movie that almost works, but, ultimately, does not.

Review by Keith Allen

Home Page / Alphabetical List of Films
List of Films by Star Ratings
Aesthetic Principles / Guide to Ratings
Criteria for Inclusion / DVD Stores / Blog

© 2009 Keith Allen. All rights reserved.

Click Here

banner 2