Saturday, October 13, 2012

Money Shot (Christa Faust, 2008)

This is just a pathetic piece-of-shit cheap pulp. Cannot really find a good way to categorize it, maybe calling it something like “hard-boiled sexploitation wanna be” isn’t far from the truth. Story is trivial and straightforward – some money gets stolen and we have lots of bad guys chasing innocent girl in order to get it back. It’s all pretty silly and predictable but this is (still) not a problem as we are used to those and sometimes they do turn out to be okay or at least bearable.

Problematic aspect of Money Shot comes from its sexploitation angle. Its background is porn industry and everything in the book is linked to it. Not only the characters, but every single observation, dialogue, situation … Author assumes that we are all totally fascinated with the dark side of porn industry and she portraits it as hell on earth, full of white slavers where human life isn’t worth a dime. This would probably make sense back in 70s when porn took off, but I find it hard to believe that these days someone would kill 10+ people for just 100 grand.

It starts as a kind of “innocent and clueless guy gets into mess” mystery but it soon completely loses its plot. Our poor heroine is beaten to a pulp, raped, shot and left for dead and yet for some reason she doesn’t contact the police!? And besides such obvious nonsense we need to accept gaps in our narrator’s story like these: “I have no idea how I got away from the phone but I did. I also had no idea how Malloy found me, but he did.” So – in short – it quickly turns into a ridiculous thriller where bodies just keep piling up accompanied by narrator’s “witty” comments about porn industry. It ends with another cliché as our Angel manages to save bunch of women from white slavery…

Characterization is next to non-existent, we can tell who the good guys (girls) and bad guys are the same moment they are introduced. Writing is simplified to maximum; I would say that whole vocabulary has few hundred words. I also had some troubles with its style. It is too masculine as if Christa Faust is trying to prove that she can write even more tough crime prose as her male colleagues. But this - in all fairness – is a trap into which most of female crime authors fall into.

I like pulp trash in general, but this one is just too much really. While reading it I just couldn’t shook off the feeling that author wrote it just to sell it to Hollywood and make another one of those Tarantino-esque extravaganzas. Just put together lots of action, sex, violence, killings, snappy dialogues, cheap humor, shady east European characters and … and that’s it really. Story, what story!? Simple revenge plot will do just fine and there’s no need for a solid story as long as you’ll be able to cast Angelina Jolie for the Angel’s role. 



Angel Dare, ex porn star. Now running "modelling" agency

L.A. capitol of pornography

Body count: 14

There are few other porn stars (victims), but our hero is so absorbed into herself that they are hardly relevant.

Completely off target, but this is probably because book itself is titled totally inappropriate. We of course all know what money shot is (you seriously don't?) and there aren't much of them here. Also Angel cuts and bleaches her hair right at the beginning... By Glen Orbik.

She gets knocked out twice and stuffed into car's trunk.

Cool lines:
I hate malls. They're like strip clubs for women. All tease and sparkle and the empty promise that if you just drop enough cash, somehow you'll be fulfilled. 

Beard. Ponytail. Beer gut. Tattoos. He looked like one of the first three guys the hero has to fight before he can get to the real bad guy.
[The Coolest!]

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