Killing Joan, Female Lead Dominant In This Action, Supernatural Thriller

Killing Joan Film Details Todd Bartoo Killing Joan

Director: Todd Bartoo

Writer: Todd Bartoo

Release Date:

April 4th, 2018 //  July 10th, 2018

Release Format: VOD // DVD

MPAA Rating: N/A

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Running Time: 1h 38min

Social Networking: Facebook


An enforcer for the mob enacts her revenge on those who wronged her.


Am a serious aficionado of the revenge theme in Horror, Thriller cinema, with emphasis on films with a commanding female protagonist. There are many deviations to this story/category with a divide on tales based on realism and the uncanny. Examples of real world-based narratives are Michael Winner’s 1974 Action, Crime, Drama. Michael Winner‘s 1974 Action, Crime, Drama. Although it is films such as Meir Zarchi‘s 1978  Horror, Thriller and Wes Craven‘s 1972 Horror, Thriller that draws on controversial visuals. Are we witnessing a pattern here? The seventies must have been a turbulent age with all these films exhibiting measures of vengeance.

Todd Bartoo brings his perspective of the revenge genre with the upcoming release titled; Killing Joan. The context Bartoo addresses diverge from the films pointed out above. In his narrative, the supernatural becomes the essence of the ninety-minute plus production. Notions of rebirth and magic interweave within the field of thugs and its low economic class of denizens. Todd Bartoo Killing Joan



In Killing Joan, Jamie Bernadette‘s performance as Joan Butler lifted the weight of the production. Bernadette expressed experience and poise in her act as a tough female protagonist. The role resonated as a personality ripped out from a graphic novel, a conventional action hero. Actor David Carey Foster portrays Frank with a style that borders seriousness and jocosity. Am familiar with Saturday morning cartoons of yesteryear and I noticed correlations between Foster’s character and classic villain renditions.

The depictions from the cast were entertaining. Yet, I did not connect with several portraits due to their scarcity of passionate projection. I can’t stigmatize some performances as B-Movie like quality because that wasn’t the problem. What was the issue? Sentiments had a dull expression with words repeated off a page instead of statements delivered from the heart. Todd Bartoo Killing Joan

The cinematography was straightforward in its execution. By using close to mid-range shots Bartoo adopted an intimate feel to capture the action. Held at a minimum are wide shots to accentuate the environment. There was an uncanny flat color tone that dulled the action aesthetic to the film. I would have favored a deeper blue or olive hue overlay as visual enhancements. I don’t approve using CGI but without it complimenting heavy supernatural views becomes difficult.

In Killing Joan these added graphics were remarkable as it circulated with the real world setting. To add, the CGI factor wasn’t overwhelming or tossed in at wanton. Instead, the special effects added personality to the protagonist and her nefarious counterpart.

Killing Joan had a one-dimensional quality to its delivery. While watching the film there was a demand, a desire to for stronger visual stimuli. The darkness related to the supernatural narrative seemed restricted, so did the grittiness of its action inspired equivalents. These traits may have strength on script form but the visual translation neglects to evoke emotion. Todd Bartoo Killing Joan

All works in this genre adhere to the same rule/theme; the protagonist is a victim of a senseless violent act. Rape, murder or injustice, these measures work as a catalyst for the character’s metamorphic journey. Yet, it is their backstory that intensifies the storyline. The key is to establish the protagonist under a metaphorical microscope granting audiences to explore multi-leveled emotions. Audiences need a reason to praise the character’s campaign of retribution. What were the broader emotional contexts in Joan’s expedition?

The protagonist, Joan Butler did not provide a sincere lure for audiences to associate with. In Killing Joan, Bartoo preferred to concentrate on Joan’s illicit occupation instead of her backstory, her badassery instead of her intimate face. In fact, Joan’s toughness anesthetized her character evolution observed in ACT II and ACT III. I would have preferred a glimpse of her circumstances and reasons Joan lived the life she did. Todd Bartoo Killing Joan

In Conclusion

Killing Joan compliments the landscape of revenge-themed thrillers. While Bartoo’s vision may not revolutionize a concept I consider it to express the subject with entertaining prose. The narrative transforms as a graphic novel put to film. Its approach can translate across different creative content with ease.

Killing Joan would perform to great effect as an animated film. I found Bernadette’s character to be an excellent illustration of a strong female protagonist. Yet, her character lacked an augmented backstory and examination thereof. Killing Joan is a pleasant film viewing experience.


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