Michael Biehn (Kyle Reese in The Terminator) writes, directs and stars in this ultra low-budget thriller. Annie (Jennife Blanc-Biehn, also producing) has just witnessed a murder, and while fleeing she stumbles on a cabin in the woods with a man in a flannel shirt inside – but will he help her?
If you’ve met me, Googled me or passed me in the street, you’ll know I love Michael Biehn; the highly underrated star of multiple James Cameron films (The Abyss, The Terminator, Aliens) and criminally little else. His nice-guy good looks combined with his intensity allow him to play a range of characters from heroic super soldiers to psychotic divers, and possibly a lot else if he’d had the chance. However, he never quite made in to the A-list, so when I saw he had made his own movie I had to check it out.
The simple premise and limited locations necessitated by the budget and eleven day shoot could have resulted in a very predictable film, but instead The Victim plays with our allegiances and draws deliberate parallels between its presumed heroes and villains. This amount of moral nuance is as interesting as it is unexpected, and sets it above previous 80s-sci-fi-stalwart-does-violent-B-movie, Rutger Hauer’s one-note Hobo With a Shotgun, more at the level of Some Guy Who Kills People.
Biehn makes good use of the shoestring budget, but a less perfect, more grainy picture might have helped hide the fact more convincingly. The performances are solid, including the Biehns as the film’s lead couple. Mr Biehn is clearly in great shape, and did all his own stunts for the fight scenes, even passing out due to being choked in one scene. The commitment to the film from its creators shines through making it an enjoyable watch.