Cut and Run is one of Deodato's strangest films due to the bizarre mix of genres. The film balances horror, action and adventure elements with gritty cocaine smuggling and hostage situation subplots. There is even an Apocalypse Now inspired crazy Colonel living with natives in the jungle. To say that the film bites off more than it can chew is an understatement, but that the fact that the film works at all is a great testament to Deodato's unique talent.
There is little point passing comment on the film's plot because it virtually makes no sense. There is, for example, no explanation at how the Indian killings in the Amazon jungle simultaneously take place in Miami and the entire subplot involving Colonel Horne remains a mystery. The jumbled plot does have the advantage of giving Deodato the opportunity to dabble in different genres and he shows yet again why he is such an underrated filmmaker. Deodato's direction is technically brilliant and he brings his usual sense of flair to the film's action and horror set pieces. The dramatic moments are less successfully handled and unusually for a Deodato film, some sentimentality creeps in towards the end of the film.
The film really picks up every time the Indians attack. Horror fans might be annoyed by the infrequency of the gore, but when the killings do occur, Deodato does not disappoint. There are beheadings, spears through the neck, darts in the neck and one of Deodato's best ever deaths when a man is literally ripped limb from limb (according to Deodato, inspired by the Vietcong). Part of the fun is watching legendary genre actor Michael Berryman camping it up as a demented Indian. He has several great moments in what is one of his more memorable roles. The other actors are also pretty good. Lisa Blount makes an impression as Fran and Richard Lynch always does a good job of acting crazy, making a perfect Colonel Horne.
Also worth a mention are Claudio Simonetti's great synth score and the beautiful photography of the jungle landscape (Venezuela doubling for Colombia). Fans of Deodato should check out the accompanying "Uncut and Run" documentary in which Deodato rather amusingly talks about the shoot, stealing Wes Craven's job as the director and even bluntly says which actors he did not enjoy working with. Cut and Run might lack cohesion but it remains a highly enjoyable minor work from a truly great director.
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