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Donkey Punch at Starz FilmCenter

Numerous reviews of Donkey Punch, an alternately glossy and loony thriller that debuts at Starz FilmCenter this week, have argued that the opening portions of the film, in which a trio of British party girls vacationing in Spain hook up with a group of randy young sailors on a lavish yacht, are considerably more convincing than the scenes of murder and mayhem that follow. But while the latter sequences do indeed stretch credulity to the snapping point, their pulpy dumbness qualifies as blessed relief, not narrative sin. In the beginning, the women (Nichola Burley, Jaime Winstone and Sian Breckin) are too vapid and their male counterparts (Robert Boulter, Tom Burke, Julian Morris and Jay Taylor) too tiresomely neanderthalic to generate much interest in their doom-laden drugs-and-sex antics. Fortunately, the plot twists that take place after these idiots start to panic lift the film out of its sophisticated torpor, with one death in particular qualifying as laugh-out-loud funny. Both halves of the movie are bad — but only one of them is bad in a good way.

Donkey Punch begins its run at Starz FilmCenter, 900 Auraria Parkway, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 27. Tickets are $9.50, with discounts for students, seniors and Denver Film Society members. Get info at 303-595-3456 or www.denverfilm.org.

 
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