Horror Exploitation usually has a limited budget, so the filmmakers must make do with outrageous dialogue and over-the-top situations. These pictures hit hard and fast in the realm of the Russ Meyer seminal classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965), the early work of Herschell Gordon Lewis and many others. Subtlety is not a mark in this style be it set in a Women’s Prison, a jungle, a small town, an island or simply a last house on the left. Toss in this modern entry into that cesspool of guilty pleasure and you have the Australian film My Cherry Pie (2021). This film is not a reference to the 1990 song Cherry Pie by American glam metal band Warrant although both were odd genre homages to eras that were changing.
Writer / Director Addison Health and co-director Jasmine Jakupi have put together this rather unoriginal story of a trio of sleazy, drug-taking low-life criminals who take hallucinogenic substances and end up in a not-so-healing hospital. Why would one watch something like this? It’s fun and works on a completely tasteless level. The three criminals trash talk, use cliches, and histrionic wordage that drone on and on, yet it somehow fits the world. Freddy (Sotiris Tzelios) gets out of jail and is after money and more fun so the three botch up a takedown of another drug dealer, stealing his wares which turn out to be high-octane material. The three-speed down the road, enjoying altered life perceptions, laughing only to be stood in the middle of the road paralyzed in the middle of nowhere.
While all this is happening you have a second storyline in which we see a leather-dressed Giallo-like killer murder amorous campers by axing them, strangling them with a belt and cutting off their heads. The lines intersect when our three-zany trash-talking bad guys end up being ushered into an abandoned hospital for the criminally insane. After the group gets settled in, they’re introduced to Cherry Pie or Cherry (Trudi Ranik). From then on, the film follows the path of sexual exploitation, the gore-filled tradition of Greek filmmaker Nico Mastorakis, George Romero, and early Wes Craven. For some viewers, this is not a film to watch if you are enjoying a plate of ribs or some other comfort food. You will literally get entrails, genitalia, gallons of blood, body parts, and brain bits all done with a wonderful practical skill which adds to the charm. The violence is on the outrageous scale that you do watch because of that factor, yet for some it seems that the Director and the Writer just opened the floodgates at the end or in this case opened a skull with an axe.
My Cherry Pie (2021) has some good performances for a film of this nature and charm along with some bottom-drawer practical effects. The film works well in what it is trying to show and the style of Grindhouse. This adds to the charm that is best enjoyed with your brain turned off, hopefully still in your skull.Happy entrails to you.
My Cherry Pie is out now on Blu-ray (Region FREE) from VIPCO & BayView Entertainment and is available to buy at: