BB – New Release Review

bbWe venture into this synth infused take on camgirls, obsession and exploitation…

Our hero is a girl named Leah Lamont (Jennifer Mae) rather than, as you might have assumed, BB. Like several of the films’ characters, she has an alliterative name; perhaps this is set in some sort of adult version of the Marvel Universe. I say an adult version as, in the first scene of the film, LL attends an interview with Madame CC – Candace Camera – in the hopes of becoming a camgirl. A camgirl is a type of adult performer who engages in video calls with clients, who can pay to see them perform certain acts. LL takes on a stage name of CC – Candy Cummings – and, for a brief time, the life of a camgirl looks rosy; she’s raking in enough to buy her Romanian-American girlfriend first-class tickets to Bucharest, to visit her family during a time of crisis. But, wouldn’t you know it, before too long things have turned sour; her girlfriend may or not be involved with dodgy drugs and a dodgy ex and, more immediately concerning, she’s being stalked by a wounded veteran with a screenname of HH – HornyHal – though only we, the viewers, are privy to his identity, which is made clear to us in a series of his taped video-confessions.

These video-confessions quickly become tedious, as all HornyHal has to say about himself is that he’s a creepy stalker. These sections are not well-written enough to offer a compelling look inside the mind of a stalker, nor do they do much to move the plot forward, or even to give HornyHal’s actor Kristian Hanson a chance to prove himself. In a film that’s only 72 minutes long, they still manage to feel like padding, frequently interrupting what little the picture has going on outside of its stalk-the-victim plot.

With its explicit nudity and sex, beginning in its first scene, its dreamy, synthy score and its visual style – the sort of hazy editing and focus-unfocus-focus photography seen in flicks either by or emulating Harmony Korine – it’s easy to get suckered into thinking you’re watching an art film. But actually, this is a fairly simple stalker picture of the sort you’ve likely seen several times; just last month, a considerably better example of the type was shown at FrightFest. Its early scenes, exploitative as they are, at least hint at an interesting movie; maybe one about relationships and the meaning of fidelity; maybe one about the ambiguous nature of exploitation; maybe one about the nature of drug addiction. What we probably wouldn’t guess is that it’s only going to be a do-over of an age-old story, dressed up in an unappealingly pretentious package. By its final confrontation, BB is a curious, though not an interesting, example of a compromise that pleases no-one: it is not sexy enough to compete with true-blue pornography; not effective enough for thriller or horror fans; and not clever enough for arthouse audiences. In fact, it’s hard to find much to recommend about it.

BB is out now, will you be checking it out or staying away? Let us know in the comment box below!

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