Psychic Murder

Of all the difficult gigs there are in the entertainment world, one of the toughest has to be stand-up comedy. I once heard a comic making fun of his own profession (as many of them do), talking about how people usually don't even know who's performing at the local comedy club; they just go there because they want to go out. You hardly ever see people doing that with movies at the theatre. Granted, I did that once but those were special circumstances, and it really isn't the norm.

Billy (Will Bernish) has the added problem of not being terribly funny, or at least not able to connect very well with his audience, which is vital for any comedian. Then he starts making fun of himself, specifically his birth defect -- his hands each have three fingers, or more precisely two fingers and a thumb. They're the most unrealistic looking fake hands you've ever seen, but that doesn't matter. The point is that as soon as he starts down that road his act takes off, and Billy very much wants to succeed in his chosen profession.

Luckily -- or perhaps unluckily -- a talent agent named Mickey Goldsmith (Timothy J. Cox) has witnessed Billy's sudden success and wants to represent him. Nervously, he joins Mickey and his lady, Puma (Tatiana Ford), for a drink and is immediately made even more nervous by Mickey's behavior, especially in regards to Puma. She is a bit cougarish, except she's definitely too young for that title. I'm still not entirely sure whose side she's on.

Anyway, while on the surface it seems like a great thing to have an established, successful agent offering to take on a new and struggling comic, Mickey's attitude gives Billy pause. Mickey may be trying to buy the young comic's soul, but he mostly avoids the usual promises of huge rewards and instead lingers on the horror stories of what happens to people he doesn't like, such as former client Adrian Mann (Matt Moores). But it's time for Billy to decide now. Will he resist the lure of fame, or give in to temptation?

This short film skilfully blends comedy and the darker side of the entertainment world, with Timothy Cox's performance expertly representing the latter. Sometimes his 'evil boss' characters are played for laughs (Over Coffee), but they always have a certain aura of menace, which is on full display here. And however out of his depth Billy is, Bernish holds his own as Mickey's hapless target, while Puma is a puzzling wild card. Overall, it's a very interesting study of character and morality that will leave you thinking, and there's not much more you can ask of a movie.

Image: 
Mickey ready to pounce, while Puma looks faintly amused.

Comments

Post new comment

  • Allowed HTML tags: <abbr> <acronym> <address> <bdo> <blockquote> <del> <hr> <img> <ins> <pre> <q> <sub> <sup> <dl> <dt> <dd> <ul> <ol> <li> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <table> <caption> <col> <colgroup> <tbody> <td> <tfoot> <th> <thead> <tr> <b> <big> <cite> <code> <dfn> <em> <i> <kbd> <samp> <small> <strong> <tt> <var> <u> <br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options