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Love Lies Bleeding (2024)

The mullets flow majestically in late-80s glory in this sexy, steroid-fueled lesbian crime story starring Kristen Stewart and Katy O’Brian.
Our Rating

Genre(s): Action, Crime

Director: Rose Glass

Actors: Kristen Stewart, Katy O'Brian, Jena Malone, Anna Baryshnikov, Dave Franco, Ed Harris

Year: 2024

MPAA Rating: R

Country: USA

Lou (Kristen Stewart) is bored at her literally shitty job, stuck cleaning clogged toilets yet again at the gym she manages. The place reeks of sweat and self-absorption, where body builders peddle steroids to bulk up and self-improvement dreams go to die. That is until gorgeous Jackie (Katy O’Brian) shows up, with her super-toned bod, short-shorts and Lisa Lisa curly hair—and she notices Lou noticing her.

Jackie has just arrived in town, fleeing one thing and running to another… so their mutual attraction serves mutual purposes. Lou is bored and lonely, and Jackie needs a place to crash before she continues on to Las Vegas for body building nationals. Plus, Lou has an endless stash of steroids that might push Jackie to the next level. When the gym closes for the night, their hot and heavy makeout session on the mats go straight to Lou’s bed, where Jackie easily settles in.

But Jackie has stumbled into a weird dynamic by falling into Lou’s orbit. Jackie has picked up a job at a shooting range via a first-night-in-town-night lay-for-cash (super-gross Dave Franco), only to find out that the gross-dude/now co-worker is Lou’s brother-in-law who beats Lou’s sister. Not only that, but Lou’s dad (sinister Ed Harris) owns both the gun range and the gym, and is a renowned super-shady character that Lou has cut out of her life. When the brother-in-law beats Lou’s sister to an inch of her life, well, you know it’s the last straw… shit is going to go down, but you don’t know who is going to make the move.

Love Lies Bleeding takes place in the late 80s… not the fun, new wave, pastel-and-neon 80s of pop culture nostalgia, but the steroid-soaked, acid-wash jeans, mulleted 80s that collective memory tends to gloss over. The hairstyles alone in this film are something to behold: Dave Franco has a short-on-top, party-in-the-back cut that is totally gross; Kristen Stewart sports a black Joan Jett mullet that ends up being kind of greasy-hot; but Ed Harris’s long crown of hair topped by a totally bald head is so outrageous that you just know he is monster that would easily dispose of your body without a glimmer of remorse.

Once the violence gets all bone-cracking, wet, and splattery, Love Lies Bleeding does not let up. I was warned of a broken jaw, and let’s just say that scene and others more than delivers. The film is sexy, twistedly funny, and, in the last half hour (to borrow an admiring comment from another woman at the screening), the story goes “full A24” on you, aka it gets super-weird and strangely fantastical. But A24 always knows what they’re doing when they notice and pick up films like this. If you like a sexy lesbian crime story with violence, humor, hallucinatory moments, and a whole lot of mullets, Love Lies Bleeding will certainly show you a good time.

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