There are actually a fair number of things in Mad Cowgirl that are amusing, and the film does include a good many interesting ideas. For instance, the director creates an odd sense of unreality with his blurring of ethnic and linguistic barriers. Therese, though obviously Caucasian, has a mother who is Vietnamese. Her Indian doctor speaks to her in his own language, which she understands, and she answers him in English, which he understands. The film's unique atmosphere is further enhanced by such details as the heroine's love of beef, which she eats in huge quantities in numerous scenes, her devotion to a wildly atrocious martial arts show, her obsession with different Christian sects, and her numerous sexual adventures, which include relations with her brother, the televangelist with whom she is captivated (and to whose image on television she masturbates), and a stranger she meets in a pornographic theater.
The conclusion of Mad Cowgirl is especially entertaining. The heroine, now on her delusional quest to slaughter the 'Ten Tigers of Kwangtung,' is shown killing those she knows in various grisly ways. Fortunately, these events are depicted very stylishly. The director presents his final act using split screens, dramatic camera angles, bold lighting, silhouettes, and the like, which details are largely borrowed from action films from Hong Kong and Japan.
Although there are obviously many things I enjoyed in Mad Cowgirl, I have to admit that, taken as a whole, the movie just does not work . It is, sadly, rather boring throughout much of its duration. The conclusion is fun, but it is not nearly fun enough to redeem the tedium that came before it.
As much as I would like to praise Mad Cowgirl, I cannot. It is a movie that almost works, but, ultimately, does not.
Review by Keith Allen
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