John Bruni reviews The Bunker

The Bunkeraka Pray For Dawn
81 min., 2011
Written by Joseph M. Monks
Directed by Joseph M. Monks
Language: English
My rating: ★★★

Yes, yes. All right. Monks is a blind director. Get the jokes out of your system.

* * *

That’s right. The writer/director of this movie, Joseph M. Monks, is blind. Granted, he wasn’t born that way (he lost his vision due to the ‘Beetus), but a blind man has taken it upon himself to direct a movie. He’s better known as a comic book writer (ZACHERLEY’S MIDNITE TERRORS, GORY LORI, and a few others) and a short story writer (see his collections, DEAD MEAT and ROADKILLS), but how does he fare behind the camera?

For a blind man, he’s very good with visuals. Everything on the screen looks beautiful in its grimy, crack whore kind of way. In fact, it’s the only thing THE BUNKER has going for it, and that includes the story.

Julia is sick of her politician father’s way of life, so she runs away and becomes a prostitute to get by. (And she’s actually a lousy hooker. No one seems to want to buy her.) One night, she is kidnapped by a serial killer and is tortured in captivity while her father tries to keep things quiet in his attempt to findher. It is an election year, after all.

Sadly, that’s it. The tortures are pretty interesting. The k0iller leaves his scrapbook of his previous victims with her so she knows what lies in store for her. He puts a bunch of her missing posters up all over her cell. He even pumps drugs into her, thinking she’s going into withdrawals, but she hasn’t gotten to the heroin stage of her downward spiral yet. There is a great toenail-pulling scene that  will be remembered by anyone who sees it.

But it all seems to be an homage to the grindhouse flicks of the ‘Seventies. There is a definite THE CORPSE GRINDERS feel to this movie, with maybe a dash of THE WIZARD OF GORE, even though there is relatively little gore. It’s a more psychological version of torture porn. The acting is atrocious, especially on the killer’s part. He’s played by Terry West, and he’s decided that the only way a killer should speak is by yelling.

This film brings nothing new to the table, just the same ol’ same ol’. The score is pretty cool, though. At some times, it invokes a bit of Carter Burwell. All in all, it’s not a bad way to waste time, but it could have been so much more.

[Here’s a little bit of odd trivia for you. For some reason, the executive producers for this movie are Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman. Take that however you will.]

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About John Bruni

John Bruni is the author of AND JESUS CAME BACK (Rooster Republic), DONG OF FRANKENSTEIN (New Kink), POOR BASTARDS AND RICH FUCKS and TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE (StrangeHouse) and STRIP (Riot Forge). His short work has appeared in anthologies like A HACKED-UP HOLIDAY MASSACRE (Pill Hill), ZOMBIE! ZOMBIE! BRAIN BANG! (StrangeHouse) and the critically acclaimed VILE THINGS (Comet). He edited STRANGE SEX 3 for StrangeHouse, and he was the editor and publisher of TABARD INN: TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE. Find out more at and
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