Friday, April 2, 2010

Dreadville: The Lottery and Love, Death & Blueberry Pancakes

Recently I was contacted to review a couple of short movies that were made by Jason Patfield; those movies were The Lottery and Love, Death & Blueberry Pancakes. Though they are not horror per say, they do have elements of horror and they are mostly pulp movies similar to that of Seven. This intrigued me so I requested them and to my surprise… they aren’t bad. There is always room for improvement but they were entertaining and they all took place in the same town of Dreadville, which is something that I love. To see unrelated movies somehow interconnect with one another. Well, here are my short reviews of the short movies:

The Lottery

This tells the story of a man who is down on his luck when playing the lottery but he needs the money to pay his abusive landlord, a mob debt and other things. His friends meets up with him and they plan to leave the states to Mexico but what isn’t said is that the friend also has a dealing with the mob that hasn’t been paid back… and trouble arises.

The Lottery is easily my favorite movie because I fell in love with the main character/hero. You feel for him because all he wants is a chance at luck when his entire life has been nothing but bad luck. The performance was great and very realistic. Even the idea of the story was pretty well thought of and that the surgical scenes as well as the ending has a sort of pulp to it that I only saw in films like Once Upon A Time in Mexico and Sin City. With that said, the rest of the acting can be improved on; it’s not bad but it can be a little stale or over the top. The only other major improvement that should be taken into consideration is the camera effects. I didn’t really like slow motion effect, or the doubling, or the distortedness because it kind of took away from the movie. Other than that, The Lottery is a pretty good short film.

Watch the trailer

Love, Death & Blueberry Pancakes

I think this one has a good story that was told in very little time. It’s essentially about a father who struggles with his daughter after she falls for a sleazy gang member, although at the time he doesn’t know it. During this time, the gang is put on edge after an assassin is going around killing its members. I don’t want to give anymore that that otherwise I would give away the ending.

As I stated before, there is a lot of story here and I think the biggest problem was that it was told is such a short time. If this was a longer movie I think it would have been better but that’s not to say that as a short film it fails to deliver. I was engaged in the story and the characters; the characters were believable and performed quite well. This story is lacks the pulp of The Lottery but it still has a certain style to it that I liked. I would argue that this story could be on par with Quentin Tarantino’s style of crime if given the chance. I can say this, after watching this short I had a huge craving for blueberry pancakes.

Watch the trailer

Overall, I think the stories that come out of Dreadville are told very well and they are engaging and I think the characters are the strongest parts of the story only because of their intentions. I think the acting can be improved on a little but that’s something that every indie director faces as he or she is starting out. I enjoyed the experimentation and I think that by doing that, Patfield is learning the ropes quite well. I hope to see more Dreadville productions and I am also hoping for a feature length movie from them as well.


Copyboy said...

The Lottery does sound like an interesting short.

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