I wanted to take a chance to tell you about a short mini-series/show that I recently had the chance to enjoy. I’m not sure it’s exactly the material you’d usually expect from me, but it was off the wall, brutal and pretty damn funny. Bullet in the Face is violent and delicious with strange dialogue that seems to almost send up typical cop action drama programming while embracing film noir and Euro sensibilities.
Synopsis from Shout Factory:
Violent criminal Gunter Vogler (Max E. Williams) is a sociopath. He hates everyone and everything. When a bloody jewelry store robbery goes awry and he is shot by his accomplice and girlfriend, Martine (Kate Kelton), he eventually wakes up in a hospital having received a face transplant. Gunter now has the face of a police officer he had killed earlier and as payback, the police tell him he now has to work for them and fight crime.
With old friends becoming his new foes and enemies turning into allies, Gunter suffers an identity crisis that has him seeking revenge against the entire human race. Law enforcement thought that with Gunter in their ranks, they were fighting fire with fire, but instead, Gunter is scorching the Earth. He is a one-man wrecking crew, a raging inferno carrying a police badge. He’s also a man on a mission to reunite with the woman he loves, Martine, who gave him the ultimate parting shot…a “Bullet in the Face.”
I am not overly familiar with Sledge Hammer from producer Alan Spencer, so I cannot rate it based on a comparison to his earlier work. The whole thing feels like some strange mash up between the German Nihilists from the Big Lebowski, the overall look of Sin City though noticeably lighter and maybe a little bit of Face/Off… the Nick Cage/John Travolta action flick. The crossroads of those movies or at least aspects of those movies/concepts combined with a somewhat withdrawn Eddie Izzard (as understated as you’ve ever seen him) works to create comedic suspense, timed just right.
Each character has a layer to be peeled back, and each one can make you laugh at some of the blackest comedic moments. From the outset you might not expect it to be face ripping good, but it will surprise you. Make sure to make it past episode 1 because while the action-packed origin story for the program is solid, what unravels is playful. It’s a fun watch.
The whole thing is about 135 minutes long which is perfect for an evening in. The disc also includes commentary with Alan Spencer.