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"Bad Turn Worse": A Crime Story That Knows Too Much About Itself 

Tuesday, Nov 11 2014
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Originally titled We Gotta Get Out of this Place, Simon and Zeke Hawkins' crime thriller does not begin promisingly. The first post-credits sequence involves the college-bound Sue (MacKenzie Davis) and Bobby (Jeremy Allan White) sitting in a Texas diner, discussing topics such as the grammatical accuracy of multiple biscuits and gravy being advertised as a singular "Biscuit and Gravy," or crime writer Jim Thompson's theory that there are 32 ways to tell a story, but only one actual plot. Later, during a deadly game of cat and mouse, the villain Giff (Mark Pellegrino) monologues to Sue and Bobby about the finer points of Rocky II. The post-Pulp Fiction wave of Tarantino-wannabe films in the mid-'90s was one of the bleaker periods in indie film history, and Bad Turn Worse dips into that well a few too many times. The story itself is simple enough — Sue's none-too-bright boyfriend Billy Joe (Logan Huffman) pulls her and Bobby into a life of heists and double-crosses — but if often feels less like a cohesive movie and more like a display reel of the Hawkins boys' influences, including not only Tarantino but videogames. Sue being frequently threatened with rape doesn't help, and overall, Bad Turn Worse leaves an unpleasant taste in the viewer's mouth.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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