by Andrew James
Mad Cowgirl stars Sarah Lassez as Therese (pronounced terr-ez), a young woman who is a beef inspector in California during the madcow disease scare of recent years. Her younger brother is owner/manager of a meat processing plant and she cuts him some slack so that he won't be shut down for some less than clean business practices. Besides her duties as an inspector, she learns of a possibly malignant tumor in her breast. While dealing with this news, she is sleeping with an aging televangelist played by Walter Koenig (yes, Commander "nuclear wessels" Chekov from Star Trek). Throw in a sexually obsessive doctor with no truly understandable role, and you have yourself a mess of a film.
At some point, on a sexually suggestive evening with her brother, the two dine on some steak that is later determined to be infected with madcow disease. As the woman slowly submerges into sickness and madness, we follow her exploits of doing nothing worth mentioning for about an hour. Until in the final five minutes or so, she thinks she has been instructed to kill some stars of a popular, B-style TV show by a priest while confessing her sins.
This movie was totally without merit for me on any point other than the attractiveness and passion of the lead character; a better looking version (in my opinion) of Julia Roberts. Without this aspect (or the promise I made to review the film), I may very well have left the theater and gotten an extra hour of sleep. Lassez really knocks her role out of the park with a great performance, but will undoubtedly be overlooked because of the brutal, mess this film creates on screen.
The movie is so slow and literally nothing ever happens worth mentioning. She sleeps with Chekov a couple of times before he leaves her, then she walks around town a bit. She has sex with a stranger in a porno theater. She confesses her sins several times at a church where she meets another girl whom she develops a bond with. They go bowling, dancing, walk around the park and give each other flowers. She masturbates to Chekov's image on TV preaching about Jesus.
The style isn't even all that interesting. It's slightly amateur and tries to employ various artistic elements that only succeeded in boring me further. Therese trains herself in Kung-Fu towards the end to better enable her to dispatch with her victims, but is never employed. She simply cuts them to pieces with various tools (drills, skill saws, and a throwing blade on a chain) while sleeping with them. There is no transition. One minute she is sawing someone up, the next she is having sex with someone while putting a blade in his abdomen. Even the blood-letting at the end was unconvincing and looked completely fake. In fact, it's left unclear as to whether she even commited these acts or not.
I hate to completely tear apart independent films and especially those of a new director, but I honestly can't think of one good thing to say about this film. Others may find an artistic element that pleases them, or maybe even a metaphorical message that I probably missed. But I've got to be honest; I just didn't get it and was completely uninterested. I'd rather eat some infected beefsteak than have to sit through this again.
IMDb.com - full cast and crew