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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hilarious "Frontier Style" Horror A Fun Diversion!


"FRONTIER STYLE"
Length: 15:58
Company: Tres Hombres Productions
Website: Official

After opening with the disappointing Josh Becker written and directed "Sorry I Couldn't Make It" and the improved but still not scary Critters-esque Paul Harris manned "Roadkill", the first leg of the initial season of the fledgling Tres Hombres Productions' Spine Chillers web series concludes with this, the latest episode. 

This time, hombre numero tres, Christopher Dinnan takes on quadruple duty as writer, director, editor and lead actor -- that's a pretty hefty amount of responsibility for anyone.

Let's see how this last episode worked out, shall we?



A GOOD SPANKING


A group of friends meet every week for some good ol' fashioned card playing.   Some of them are married, and some of them are single.

The only constants among them is that they all love sci-fi.

And none of them are getting any.

Let's face it, we all know groups of guys like this.  And some of us are even members of such a community. 

Christopher Dinnan does a great job assembling a realistic cast who, while some of the performances are a bit flat (including the usually reliable Carol Ilku as long suffering wife of one of the card players), the dialogue as written is spot on, and funny for the most part. 

Our main character is Timmy (Dinnan), who has found a nice and slutty girlfriend which he is constantly having sex with, even though he knows the relationship is shallow and bound for dismal failure. 

And what's even better is that his girlfriend is pushing for something called "Frontier Style" -- an evening where ANYTHING goes, sexually. 

But what is the story behind Frontier Style?  What do people actually DO behind closed doors when nothing is off limits?

This is one of the crowning moments of the Spine Chillers web series.  Real, honest to goodness suspense is generated in this episode, as we wonder where the story is taking us.

And where is it taking Timmy? 

As he's played by Dinnan, whose acting gets better and more assured with each episode, you can't help but like wayward Timmy. 

But who over the age of 12 goes by the name of Timmy to his friends?

A minor point.  Let's move on to the good stuff, shall we?


OH NO HE DIDN'T

 

Yes, actually, he did.

The dialogue and ridiculous nature of the sex games being played in this short film are nothing short of audacious and hilarious.  Take, for instance, the single guy in the group arguing that Timmy's relationship is bound to fail because:

"He hasn't even asked her if she likes sci-fi yet.  When I meet a girl, that's the FIRST thing I ask!"

Mm hmm.  Not the best pick up line in the world, but hey, it might work somewhere.

Or the incredibly over the top scene where a man barges into a room for a love scene reciting Klingon love poetry (I swear, I am not making this up).   Or the man inhaling drugs and screaming "I'll f*** anything that MOVES!" 

Also, I give "Frontier Style" points for the best usage of the world "broccoli" in a short film.  Ever.

I couldn't stop laughing for half this picture.  The insanity of the film really does carry it capably over the minor bumps in the story.


YEAH, SHE'S HOT, BUT STILL 

 

Jessika Johnson plays Candy, Timmy's girlfriend, and she is in various states of undress throughout the film.  She does OK with what she's given -- until she opens her mouth.  Her lines are stilted, and it's clear that she's not an actress, and perhaps never will be.  She took me right out of the world of the film during the scene in the street, where a nice guy (not saying who) stops to help her with her "car trouble". 

The other problems in the picture are with her character.  What on earth are her motivations?  Why would she choose someone like Timmy in the first place?  I can't say too much more without giving the twist away.

I must say that I expected the twist, and you probably will, too.  The plot's not what you're watching this for, though.  It's essentially a comedy, with some light suspense thrown in.


CONCLUSION
 

"Frontier Style" is another good offering from Tres Hombres Productions, the third in the first season of their Spine Chillers web series.  It's a hysterically funny sex comedy with blood, and while it didn't scare me, it did offer me some suspense and I actually cared about Timmy's fate.

Another gold star for Tres Hombres, and I can't wait to see what they cook up next.

Overall Scores:

Writing: 3.5 / 5.  The dialogue and ludicrous situations are hilarious, but the actual plot of the picture is stale and comes off as pointless without any motivation or backstory for the antagonist.
Directing: 4 / 5.  I appreciated the STEADY camerawork.  We've had too much shaky stuff in horror the past decade, and it's nice to see someone let a story play out smoothly.
Editing: 3 / 5.  Some of the scenes stretched on a little long, in particular the dream sequences, but overall it's a good show.
Sound/Music: 3 / 5.  It worked.  Once again, I'm a little confused about what's Joseph LoDuca's work and what isn't, but it supported the story without being forcefed to me.
Acting: 2 / 5.  Chris Dinnan delivers a nice performance, but it's a bright spot among troublesome line deliveries that just didn't sound authentic.  Johnson, as Candy, was terrible.

Final Grade: 3 / 5 .  I enjoyed "Frontier Style" and its crazy antics.  The acting might have been bad overall, but Dinnan himself rocked the show with a comedic script, solid direction and editing, and a lead performance that actually got me to care about his character.  Not bad, considering the man wore four hats trying to get this film to the real world!

To watch the full length film and get in touch with Tres Hombres, check out their official YouTube page!



Thanks for reading! I'm a screenwriter and script consultant. Most recently, I've worked with LMC Productions and Mad Antz Films in Australia. I helped mold Goodybag Productions' award winning screenplay "The Teacher" and Michael Maguire's feature length script "The Wolfpack", which is still in development.

Check out my blog and let's get in touch!