Naked Trip: On the Run from the Mafia (2008) – By Cary Conley

Naked Trip concerns an indie director who is on the run from the mafia. On his way out of town, he coerces an actress he knows to go with him to a secret meeting for his next film. With promises of a starring role, the actress goes with the director, and thus begins a "strange and terrifying road trip to the coast." At least that’s what the blurb reads. In reality, the trip is genuinely strange but not at all terrifying.

Director Alex Bakshaev has created a truly weird and sometimes surreal black-and-white film I think I would classify as experimental more than anything else. The plot starts out in a normal linear fashion as director George Eastman (an easily recognizable homage to those of us who know and love Eurosleaze films) tries to sell his newly completed film to pay off the mobsters he borrowed money from to make the film in the first place. Unable to sell his film, he knows he must disappear before the mobsters catch up with him. He has sex with his favorite hooker one last time but is unable to convince her to take off with him. Desperate for companionship, he hatches a plan to kidnap an actress he has worked with before. From there, the plot slows down to a plodding pace as the two travel to nowhere in particular. They fight, she leaves, he tracks her down, she gets back in, they stop at a motel, and eventually they manage to arrive at the coast. Sound exciting? Believe me, my description is far more exciting than the film.

While the acting isn’t bad, the characters range from unsympathetic to downright hateful, with Eastman being the rudest and crudest. He has no problem calling women lots of despicable names and threatening to hit them and does so at an astonishing pace. Halfway into the film, I hoped the mobsters would catch up with Eastman and kill him so he would shut up. I understand this was an experimental, avant garde film, but to me it was just plain meaningless–like watching the family videos of strangers. I just didn’t care. Thankfully, the film runs out at just under an hour as the two adventurers reach the coast just in time for Eastman to explain the dire trouble he’s in to his companion. He then suggests that she go back home and just walks away and the film ends. So…what was the purpose of the road trip other than to inconvenience one last innocent person before Eastman disappears into the crowd?

Strange, weird, but unfortunately also dull, Naked Trip, which carries a warning about ”strong scenes of a violent and sexual nature," has nothing to recommend it. There are no violent scenes and the few scenes that are sexual are nothing new and nothing that hasn’t been seen before. Unless you just enjoy experimental cinema or happen to love movies about really stupid road trips, Naked Trip probably won’t be your cup of tea. You’ve been warned.

Naked Trip is available through Chemical Burn Entertainment at http://www.chemicalburn.org.