Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Honourable Mentions: Never Land

J M Barrie’s most famous creation was Peter Pan. The idea of the Lost Boys being children not growing up due to vampirism was then famously used in the 1985 movie, not surprisingly, titled the Lost Boys.

Now director Joshua Sallach has taken that one stage further and made Peter (Levi Dylan Martinez) a vampire in this short movie.

sneaking up
It begins with Peter in a tree watching Aimee (Bree Anderson) in her apartment. She is looking at bills and seems somewhat worried when her little brother Timothy (Jack Justice) sneaks up behind her made up to look like a vampire. Timothy is a young boy obsessed with vampires and Aimee, we soon discover, is his soul guardian since their parents died. There is a distant cry of “Peter” and the vampire drops from his vantage point to the ground, the noise makes both Aimee and Timothy look up but she dismisses the noise as nothing.

The cry came from a young lad, Charlie, being chased by a man Ed (Justin Ramsey). His partner (whose name I don’t think was mentioned) catches the boy and puts him over his shoulder. They carry him off and then check his neck, he hasn’t been bitten. Suddenly Peter is there and he fights the two, there is a degree of swashbuckler slapstick to the fight. One produces a stake during the fight but Peter defeats them with ease. He takes Charlie from the area and then has him go home whilst he returns to the vampire slayers and takes them on a wild goose chase.

Jack Justice as Timothy
Aimee’s babysitter has let her down, again, but she dare not miss work. She takes Timothy with her to the diner. En route Peter runs out of an alley straight in front of her car, she slams the breaks but hits him. He is alright but the two men are still after him. He knows Aimee as he hangs around the diner and she takes him with her. Once at the diner, Timothy is speaking to Peter about vampires – he wonders if the stories of garlic are true and whether vampires really can’t go into church. Peter tells him that vampires hate garlic but some do go to church (especially the really old ones, a fascinating titbit that wasn’t expanded on). Timothy suddenly notices the lack of reflection.

Peter and Aimee
Peter goes to Aimee as she is crying (patrons have left without paying, presumably it comes out of her wage). Timothy has vanished and she finds him rubbing garlic on his arms in the kitchen. She is telling him vampires don’t exist, and apologising to Peter, when Timothy points to a mirror and Peter has no reflection. She grabs a knife, he shows her a fang to explain what he is and she faints. She wakes in his hide out. He is a vampire, forever 15, the kids are orphans he looks after but he has never bitten a human, or drunk the blood the kids offer from pricked fingers, he drinks from mice, rats and sometimes cats.

Carlos A Montoya as the Captain
He is kind of creepy, given he fell for Aimee and stalked her from afar. He wants her to stay with him and together they’ll look after the kids (essentially he wants a family). She, however, is 19 and feels the weight of responsibility. Unfortunately the two hunters work for the Captain (Carlos A Montayo) – so called as he keeps a tight ship – a vampire hunter who has only ever failed to get one vampire; Peter. The hunters traced Aimee through her car and are prepared to use her to get their quarry…

look fangs
Will they succeed? You’ll have to watch to find out. I will say that, for a short put free on the net, this was rather slick. The first fight seemed too slapstick, to me, but the later action scenes worked rather well. Another criticism was that it seemed a little too light outside in some of the later scenes – given it was night. These are minor criticisms though, the film was much better shot than many that have gone to DVD (and some that go to big screen). The lore is as given through the write up.

The acting was rather good. I was most taken by Montoya as the Southern lilted Captain. Interestingly, of course, by having him as the Captain and the vampire as Peter we immediately get a hero and villain switch thanks to the archetypes this plays with.

Levi Dylan Martinez as Peter
One reason for posting this is to draw your attention to the fact that over at Open Film the short is in a competition to win the funding to turn it into a feature. You can stream the film online and voting ends January 31st 2011. I would certainly like to see them expand on this.

At the time this article was posted there is no imdb page.


Nicole Hadaway said...

Hmmm, this does seem very interesting, although Peter does sound like a bit of a vegetarian vampire which I'm not sure I can take any more of ;-)

Did you find this at your local video store? I am interested because it does sound good!

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Nicole, its online - follow the in article link to open film and it streams for free. They're in a competition to get the funding to shot the thing as a feature.