Bound and Gagged Review

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Free spirited lesbian Elizabeth decides her two closest friends need extricating from destructive relationships: beer buddy Cliff has just bungled a suicide attempt after some serious, mainly sexual humiliation at the hands of his faithless wife, while housewife Leslie, her occasional lover, keeps crawling back to her bullying thug husband Steve. A kidnapping and road trip ensue.


In a fairly low‑key way, Bound and Gagged hits a lot of bases, taking a road movie trip across country with the bandaged Cliff whinging like Stan Laurel as the ever‑more‑manic Elizabeth resorts to more and more severe stratagems to keep the object of her affections under her complete control.

Especially in Mulkey's evil husband character, the spectres of Thelma and Louise seem to haunt this highway, while the literal bondage‑of‑love plot echoes Pedro Almodovar’s Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!.

The results are a little too familiar for their own good, especially since writer‑director Daniel Appleby would obviously like to be considered quirky and original even as he combines family value violence and free-spirited escaping into the heartland.

There are the usual cameo oddballs and frustrated escape attempts, tastelessly typified by the passerby who notices the tied‑up Leslie's pleas for help and attempts to molest her. The comedy interludes about adultery and suicide are somewhat bungled, but the performances ‑ of the subsequently underused Saltarrelli and 'adult' veteran Ginger Lynn Allen, especially ‑ are peppy enough to get the vehicle through the rutted terrain and over the bumpy plot stretches.

Being a low-budgeted independent picture it was thought that Boung and Gagged would be a lot better than it ended up. With a promising story, Saltarelli gives a lively performance as free-spirited Elizabeth but sadly several of the jokes fall flat and the ending is disappointing.