Friday, August 30, 2013

Lesser of 2 Evils – review

Director: Timothy Whitfield

Release date: 2006

Contains spoilers

Lesser of 2 Evils is a short film that is available to watch on YouTube (at the time of posting). It also appears on the DVD of short films called Detour Into Madness Vol. 2 – a collection of director Timothy Whitfield’s short films.

The film starts with a girl, Jennifer (Sarah Nicklin), with a man, Duke (William DeCoff, Raving Maniacs). He pays her but then gets rough with her. He doesn’t see her friend, Victoria (Alexandra Cipolla), come up behind him and stab him with a hypodermic.

Jennifer and Victoria
Jennifer and Victoria wake up next to each other, they have slept the day away. When we hear their conversation it is apparent that they are in a new relationship and are still finding their way through it. Victoria gets dressed first and suggests they have work to do. We see her go into a basement like room and throw water into the face of Duke, who is tied up.

William DeCoff as Duke
He angrily threatens her but, when she alludes to the idea that he likes to hurt girls he denies knowledge of what she says. He says that he likes to get a bit rough, it’s his thing, but when she suggests he chokes women to death he strenuously refutes the allegation. When Jennifer comes in the room he threatens both of them. Suddenly a man, Kurt (David J. Garfield), falls through a door to the floor. His hands and legs are bound – the women leave the room.

taunting Duke
Jennifer is angry, she did not know about the other man. Victoria explains that he is a child molester who has just been released from jail despite only serving five years. She thought they could kill two birds with one stone. Jennifer believes that things could go wrong, something Victoria argues against – they have a knife and a gun, what could go wrong? Well, clearly something will and clearly, as I am looking at this here, someone is a vampire…

Fangs on show
That would be Victoria, though Jennifer is not aware of that either. This is the area where the film needed expansion… we do not know why these girls are taking out bad men (a serial killer and a child molester) and their motivation would have helped the short along. Why is a vampire keen to kill bad men? Are they meant to be dinner? Why did Jennifer go along with a plan to kidnap and murder a man, albeit a bad one? Getting the answers to these questions in would have improved the film – though I understand they are looking to make a feature length version and that may offer such background – one hopes so.

Sarah Nicklin as Jennifer
The acting was okay but, again, without revealing the motivations we are left in a quandary as to why they act like they do. The sound on the YouTube version was muddy, with the ambient soundtrack overwhelming dialogue and – in certain scenes – Duke’s dialogue vanishing when he was quieter. Hopefully that was sorted when put onto DVD. There is no real lore revealed except that a vampire is immortal.

All in all I think this deserves 4 out of 10. It wasn’t a bad effort but the sound needs sorting and motivations need exploring. The imdb page for Detour Into Madness Vol. 2 is here.

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