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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Feb 26, 2021



‘BANSHEE’ is a hardhitting action-drama series on Cinemax from Allan Ball, creator of the previous hits “Six Feet Under” and “True Blood”. 

Banshee is associated with a scary creature with a piercing wailing cry or scream, but here, it is the name of a fictional town called Banshee in Pennsylvania Amish country. 

“Banshee” is not the kind of show that would win awards as it’s very unabashedly commercial. 

Every episode has a big adrenalin-charged action scene and also liberal sex scenes of the soft porn variety. In other words, it’s a guilty pleasure as it’s also well written and the action set pieces are all executed expertly. 

It starts when the lead character, whose name is not mentioned but played by New Zeland actor, Antony Starr, is released from the slammer after 15 years for his involvement in a jewel heist gone wrong. He steals a motorcycle and drives to Banshee. 

He’s having a drink in a bar when a man who says he’s Lucas Hood, the new sheriff assigned to the town, also walks in to have lunch. 

Two thugs also come in to rob the black bar owner, Sugar Bates (Frankie Faison), a former boxer. 

In the shootout that follows, the new sheriff and the goons are killed. The unnamed man then assumes the identity of the dead sheriff, presenting himself as Lucas Hood to the town’s other cops. 

The man’s reason for going to Banshee is to see his former girlfriend, Anastasia (Ivana Milicevic), the daughter of Rabitova or Rabbit (Ben Cross), a notorious Ukrainian crime lord. 

Anastasia is keeping the diamonds which sent the ex-con to prison, but she now has a new identify as Carrie Hopewell. 

She is married to the town’s District Attorney, Gordon (Rus Blackwell), with a hard-headed teenage daughter who looks and behaves like a slut, Deva (Ryann Shane), and a fragile asthmatic young son, Max (Gabriel Suttle.)

Rabbit and his men are after the necks of Hood and Anna to get back the stolen gems. But aside from Rabbit, another main villain in the story is Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen), a former Amish who turned his back to his own people to become the town’s most powerful businessman and crime lord. 

Then there’s also the native Indian community led by Alex Longshadow (Anthony Ruivivar), who wants to put up their own casino and is locking horns with Proctor.

The fake sheriff tries to make a connection with Anna but she continues to evade him. What she does is to try to surrender him to her dad, but he manages to escape. Rabbit’s men eventually manages to track down his location but he surrenders to save Carrie. 

Rabbit’s men torture him but Carrie, with the help of other cops and Job (Hoon Lee), a cross-dressing computer hacker who is a good friend of Hood, she manages to rescue him and she gets to shoot her own father. 

This is how Season 1 ends, but you know very well that Rabbit has not been killed but will emerge again in Season 2. 

If you love over the top action and unabashed sex, you will surely enjoy the show as its brutal violence, graphic sex scenes that leaves nothing to the imagination, plus the high body count are just brazen and unapologetic.  

 Lead star Antony Starr as the don’t-take-no-crap hero is like James Bond. He’s indestructible and gets to bed all the girls. He gets mauled in almost every episode but shows up in the next couple of scenes with only minor bruises. 

The bed scenes are undeniably gratuitous, but the actors who are in them are all in the best shape and look incredibly good on screen, specially the women who have no qualms about doing full frontal nudity. It can be very entertaining with its mostly exciting characters.  

Starr as the ruggedly handsome and roguish Hood is the perfect role model for all losers who want to identify with a bad ass hero who can kick ass and is irresistible to all the ladies. 

He takes on opponents much bigger than him, including a muscle-packed albino who happens to be gay, an arrogant pugilist and a huge native Indian. 

The extremely merciless punishments meted out to all the evil gangsters and goons are absolutely satisfying for they truly deserve their worst fate.

The gripping first season ends with a blood bath, but the second season ends with two exuberant blood-soaked climactic scenes, spiced up with an incestuous love scene between one villain and his seductively sluttish niece. 

If this show were to pass the local censors, we’re sure many sequences will be ruthlessly and heavily snipped.