There’s a serial killer somewhere in Missouri known as the S/ash.er, because all serial killers need catchy names and this one has a fair amount of computer ability. He hunts women on dating sites, you see, and is a master of deception when it comes to things like hiding his IP. Police are at a loss, reduced to warning women to stay away from OkCupid, and presumably also Slasher.com.
You know you’re in for a wild ride when a movie’s first shot is of Ice-T playing the trumpet in a 1930’s speakeasy, with a couple of corrupt cops enjoying the show. Throw in some vampires and things are guaranteed to get weird. If you think about it, Prohibition would have been an excellent time to be a creature of the night, since so many otherwise regular people were already getting swept up into doing sneaky things as it was. Even some cops took bribes to ignore bootlegging operations. As one character puts it, who doesn’t live a double life these days?
Gathering for a will reading seems like a dying tradition these days, no pun intended. But Wendy (Katie Weigl) is hosting one nonetheless, after the recent death of her husband Will. Sadly, there’s no mention in the film as to whether or not his last name is Reading, but I like to think it is. Wendy is a vegan chef, so this is a dinner party as well as a will reading, but she isn’t exactly starting with a recipe for success.
First, there’s Will’s twin brother Wayne (Jamie Insalaco, who also wrote and directed). He and Wendy have never gotten along, and now that Will is gone he suggests they drop any pretense. He then proceeds to scold her for not providing wine that she says she can’t afford since she’s been out of work for a year. So Wayne huffs off to the liquor store to buy some himself, never realizing what a foolish thing it was to antagonize the woman holding the large kitchen knife.
Then Steve (Greg Vorob) arrives, Wendy’s former high school flame, now turned struggling lawyer. That sounds odd, I know, but he does a lot of pro bono work. Tom (Marc Seidenstein) is a psychologist who seems to make decent money despite being a pretty bad psychologist, but he’s being buried in medical bills for his ailing father. And Dave (Dan Conrad) is the nerd who’s living the dream with his own comic book shop, except this is also struggling. So it’s no surprise that the prospect of a little money from Will’s estate is on everyone’s mind.
But the will — technically a codicil, as Steve frequently reminds everyone — is less than helpful. While it strongly implies that there is indeed money to be found within the very house Wendy is now afraid will be foreclosed on, it’s lacking in specifics. Will was afraid of the IRS, you see, and put a lot of effort into being vague.
Cue frantic treasure hunt. Everyone has their own ideas as to where Will might have hidden his nest egg, and everyone is about equally desperate. As the search goes on they all start to show the stress in their own ways — which may or may not involve show tunes — and long friendships are sorely tested. Will they share whatever they find, as Will seemed to hope? Or can there be only one?
I’ll give it four out of five. Everyone’s having lots of fun in this movie, and that shines through every scene, though Dave would have to win any award for chewing the scenery. There’s a good sense of camaraderie among the actors, as though they really have known each other for years — and maybe they have, that’s one of the fun things sometimes about indie films. But it’s got some good laughs, the humor is sometimes nicely dark, and I think I caught all the pop culture references, which can be tricky for me. In short — I know, too late — it was an enjoyable watch, and though some of the music was doubtful even the strangest parts somehow weren’t too jarring. It’s well worth watching.