Stars: Devin Werder, Riley Werder and Reed Daniels
I adore the opening credit sequence of Kiddy Kiddy Bang Bang. Against a striking abstract but patriotic background and a striking theme, two twin girls in matching outfits point their guns at the camera and fire. Devin Werder kisses her pump action shotgun in slow motion, Riley Werder duckfaces at the smoke rising from her pistol and Reed Daniels loses his bloody brain matter to a string of bullets. This is as far away from subtle as it gets but it's modern day grindhouse at its finest, too slick to be old school but fitting very well with the Tarantino-inspired revivals. The oft quoted Edmund Burke line that 'the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,' closes them out with a rumble from the speakers. It's wrong on so many levels but I'm sure most grindhouse fans would pay to see what follows. What they need to know is that the best and worst things about this short film are that it's just as blatant.
I watched this a few times to try to figure out which side of a pretty obvious and dangerous line writer/director Dick Jane sits on. In my mind, this puts it aside from exploitation films generally, which ought to be transparent. The exploitation angle was always in getting people onto theatre seats, usually by promising more than would ever be delivered but with enough thrown up onto the screen for those punters to want to come back again. For all its faults, you can't accuse this of false advertising. Kiddy Kiddy Bang Bang delivers exactly what it says it will, no more and no less. It's about twin girls hunting down paedophiles, pure and simple, from accusation to blam blam blam. How you feel about that concept is going to phrase your appreciation, or lack of it, for this short film and, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest, for the expanded feature version when that becomes available. If you think you shouldn't watch, then don't.
So I'm impressed by the balls Dick Jane shows in making this, I love the opening credits and it's possible that this could become a politically incorrect grindhouse joy in feature form. However, I don't think I can buy that on the basis of this short version. It all feels too acutely uncomfortable, too close to propaganda, too far over the line. On his website, Jane explains his cinematic goals and they're laudable. He's a 'radical creative' with an 'inexorable avant-garde stance'. He both condemns and venerates his audience through 'original perspective'. He addresses themes of 'sex, violence and the inhumanity of the human specie.' He's 'anti-sellout and anti-trend since year zero'. This is exactly the sort of filmmaker I want to watch. I'd like to see Kiddy Kiddy Bang Bang as a feature, with the Werder girls as the leads, but only if it drops the propaganda and gains instead either a sense of humour or depth through social comment, preferably both.