Friday, 27 January 2017

Romeo's Distress (2016)

Director: Jeff Frumess

Budget: $2553

Stars: Jeff Frumess, Nick Bohun, Alex Echevarria,
Anthony Malchar

Wow what can i say, this has to be one of the most
surreal ultra low budget film i've seen to date. Anthony
Malchar plays James a boy obsessed with a girl, quite deeply
obsessed too. He follows her around spying on her.

Jeff made this film for the Macabre faire film festival
2017, it was nominated for best director, best feature, best
actor (for Jeff Solomon). The picture actually won best
screen play too.
Shot over 15 months in Ny, Sleepy Hollow (I love that place)
and the white plains. The soundtrack, music and effects are
all outstanding in this film for such a low budget.
From the way some sounds are enhanced to give a scene more
bearing, like grandma eating cheese balls or feeding her
some baby food. Some really odd scenes where the extra sounds makes it just that tad more surreal.

So the actual film starts off in a nice colour scene where everything seems to be nice to be nice for our protagonist James. He is dancing with a girl he loves, Jane and all seems well between them.
This is some kind of dream sequence though as the colour disappears and we are introduced to the REAL James. A boy obsessed by the girl in a black and white world.

He gets roughed up by a boy, Bobby who Jane's father has hired of sorts to deal with this boy, for some reason that isn't entirely obvious at the moment. His grandma is weird but i think he's just caring for her the best he can.
There's also this guy uncle Elmo who pops up he's very strange and they all seem to have an obsession with cheese balls. He still persists in his following etc, so Jane's father actually kidnaps poor James and threatens him quite horrifically to stay away from Jane.
James is on probation for something we don't quite know yet, it must be quite serious by the way they end up threatening his life and torturing him.

Sending Bobby off with a note for James Grandma, telling her James has skipped town. He makes a mistake of leaving a sharpened trowel in James leg when he goes to take a call. He frees himself from the bindings and to the father protestations (who he caves his skull in with a shovel) James manages to escape. It kind of ends how i expected, i did guess the twist by about halfway through but this doesn't detract from a well told story.
I won't spoil it because if you ever get to watch this I really recommend you do, even the heart felt monologue at the end was great. For a low budget film this has some of best acting i've seen in any for a long time. Like any Romeo and Juliette story it ends as expected. but on a bright note it turns colour again and if there's anything you have gleaned from this, that's a good sign!

THN found this film odd, strange yet very though provoking. This gave it a deepness that even some big budget films fail to include in their stories or gets lost in to many plot devises. A strong 4 stars out of 5 for this great little low budget effort, I hope Jeff continues in this area of work!

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