13 Reasons Why courted controversy when the show first debuted on Netflix thanks to its powerful depiction of rape and suicide. Actress Alisha Boe particularly impressed in the role of Jessica Davis, but rather than avoid these kinds of issues in her next project, the young star subsequently dove headfirst into the grindhouse movie 68 Kill, where her femme fatale plays a key role in a heist gone wrong.
Based on a book written by Bryan D. Smith, 68 Kill is the kind of sleazy exploitation movie that rarely finds an audience these days. That's a shame though as the caliber of the cast and Trent Haaga's script elevates the film far above its grimy trappings, creating a hilarious crime thriller that pushes the envelope in the most pulpy way possible.
AnnaLynne McCord and Matthew Gray Gubler are particular highlights in the roles as Liza and Chip respectively, but the breakout star is undoubtedly Alisha Boe, whose plucky performance as Violet alternates between fierce and heartbreaking faster than she calls someone a "little emo c**t" in the movie.
Who Is Violet?
Chip first meets Violet immediately after his girlfriend reveals her psychotic tendencies during a home robbery. It turns out that Liza's plan all along was to murder the two house-owners, but what neither of them counted on was the presence of Boe's character, whom Chip finds himself instantly attracted to, even while he's stuffing her in the trunk of his car.
Thrown in way over his head, Chip decides to rescue Violet from his girlfriend and her disgusting brother who plans to slice Boe's character into pieces just for the fun of it. Initially, the two appear somewhat wary of one another, which is understandable considering the gruesome way in which they met. However, Violet's natural sex appeal and a shared love of "Pop Muzik" quickly bonds the pair, transforming 68 Kill into a surprisingly touching love story at heart.
By its very nature, 68 Kill revels in its trashy appeal, alternating regularly between grotesque murders and unnecessary fetishization of the female form, but Boe's character adds a poignancy that's almost unheard of in grindhouse cinema. While the majority of Chip's relationships are defined by a heady mix of weakness, lust and manipulation, the all-too brief bond that he develops with Violet beats at the heart of this film and continues to motivate our protagonist even when she's out of the picture.
13 Reasons Why Violet's Story Is Ultimately A Tragic One
Yes, Violet is quick to objectify herself while distracting a cop and it doesn't take her long to climb into bed with Chip either, but Boe's character reveals herself to be far more layered than audiences initially presume, much like her role in #13ReasonsWhy.
Before she and Chip take things to the next level, Violet explains exactly why his affection means so much to her. It turns out that the reason why she originally visited the McKenzie's house is because the despicable couple blackmailed her into having sex with them. Refusal to join in on their threesomes would have ultimately left Violet homeless:
"That's how they got me. I'm not a whore. That didn't stop them from treating me like one though."
Despite the explosive circumstances surrounding their first meeting, Chip appears to be genuinely interested in Violet for more than just her body, realizing that she's far better suited to him than Liza ever was. Violet knows this, which is why she trusts herself with Chip, despite the pair only knowing each other briefly:
"It's been a long time since I made the decision to make love... and how... and with who."
Haaga cuts away before 68 Kills descends into 68 thrills, instead returning to the motel room the following morning. Suddenly though, we realize that Violet has gone missing. At first glance, it seems as though Boe's character may have run off with the money, betraying both Chip and the audience who both believed her story from the night before. However, things take a far more painful turn when Chip discovers Violet lying in the bath with her throat slit. We later learn that the gas station attendant whom Violet confronted earlier in the film has returned to seek her revenge, stealing the money and murdering our beloved heroine in the process.
While 68 Kills doesn't simply end there, Violet's impact on Chip continues to motivate him throughout, culminating in a scene where he imagines seeing her moments before he's about to die. In fact, Violet's words are what ultimately save our hero. Of course, it's disappointing that yet another female character had to die in order to motivate a male protagonist and sure, the "whore" with a heart of gold has become a rather worn-out trope, but Boe's performance helps transcends this stereotype here.
Among the grotesque serial killers and maniacal women on display, Violet provides 68 Kills with its humanity, something that's exceedingly rare within the realm of #grindhouse cinema. The film remains both hilarious and tasteless throughout, but for a genre that deliberately toys with problematic representations of women and humanity at large, Alisha Boe's performance should give audiences more than just 13 reasons to check out 68 Kills.
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