Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Familiar Needs No Laugh Track: A Movie Review

Director/writer: Kody Zimmermann.

The Familiar is a twenty-two minutes horror short that is very comedic and tongue-in-cheek. The Familiar has played at the Screamfest Film Festival in Los Angeles and the New York City Horror Film Festival. Now, the film will be at the Nevermore Film Festival. Luckily, before the festival starts, a review of the the film is here and The Familiar is entertaining, punchy, efficient and worth more than twenty-two minutes of your time.

The Familiar involves, well yes, a vampire's familiar who goes about the mundane tasks of removing limbs, bathing his vampire master, and basically becoming disillusioned with life. Sam (Torrance Coombs) has the boss from hell! Simon Bolivar (Paul Hubbard), an ancient vampire, keeps Sam wrapped around his narcissistic little finger and things go from bad to worse when Simon steals his new girlfriend's blood and soul.

The Familiar, while short, is an example of what director Kody Zimmerman can do with a small budget and some creative ideas. Each scene is either rich in action or comedic delivery of well-timed lines. The film is exciting to watch, with the pacing delivering the story effectively and concisely. Yet, the film comes to a head much too fast.

One of the constraints of working within a short format is that characterizations cannot be totally fleshed out and the film seems to be a preview of a much longer film. However, the ending is delivered in such a way that a sequel is possible and the final scene is spirited, with a message of the powerlessness of immortality over humanity delivered in one last shocking line.

This film really will suck you dry and those in the North Carolina area need to get their Familiar infusion at the Nevermore Film Festival beginning February 19th. Witty, charming, and fun the characters Sam and Simon are truly a cut above other vampire icons. Their conflicting and sardonic dialogue will have you rolling in the aisles at the Carolina Theatre, or re-tasting your dinner, as one more headless corpse graces the screen. Glue your eyes to the screen whereever The Familiar shows 'cause your left superior frontal gyrus with thank-you (an obscure, unnecessary reference to the humourous part of your brain).

Overall: 7.5 dismembered corpses out of 10.

More details on The Familiar can be found at the website here:

The Familiar Homepage

Or the Nevermore website found here:

The Familiar at Nevermore

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