I had the opportunity to attend San Diego’s Horrible Imaginings Film Festival on Saturday, September 12, 2015, but due to traffic and parking problems I was too late to see Directors Jared Jacobsen’s and Pia Thrasher’s film “The Appointment.” But being the wonderful BPG that she is, Pia provided me with the link to a screener so I could see it! Horror House Party extends sincere thanks to Horrible Imaginings’ director, Beloved Party Guest Miguel Rodriguez, for access to the Festival and its programming, and to the film’s director, Beloved Party Guest Pia Thrasher, for access to this film.
Spoiler Alert: This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk. A “spoiler-free” look at “The Appointment” can be found in the news section.
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Quick. What do you talk about with a stranger while you’re forced together in a waiting room? (da-da-da-dada etc.) Since starting a conversation with “What’s your favorite zombie franchise?” garners strange looks and possible cringing, the conversation usually goes to “And what’s your favorite movie?”
And when it’s two hit men (well, one hit man and one hit woman) in the waiting room, the post-modern movie conversation naturally turns to killer movies. Take for instance, hit man Paul (played by Mike Burnell) who has been unexpectedly called into the boss’s office for . . . well, no one knows what the meeting is for, exactly. This uncertainly has left Paul just a tiny bit nervous, which is why he spends the time before his appointment chattering nervously to hit-woman-wannabe Alex (played by BPG Pia Thrasher).
As we enjoy what starts as a pleasant conversation between potential colleagues, the discussion moves from killer movie clichés to killer moves, with Paul describing his greatest hits in brilliant, nerve-shattering, manic detail. But when he starts to discuss his most recent assignment, we discover Alex is more than the beautiful blonde bombshell she appears to be.
Jared Jacobsen and Pia Thrasher co-directed this tale of a hit man on the edge. The movie was filmed here in beautiful San Diego, with production values as luscious as our weather. The filmmakers found the perfect location in an exquisite Spanish Colonial Revival mansion, and their attention to detail continued through the sophisticated furniture and appointments. Any hit man would be proud to call this home! The colors and the photography were warm, rich, and very inviting, contrasting broadly with the anxious visitor who found it not in the least calming.
The story itself is well-constructed, with dialogue that sucks you in, then turns your expectations back around on themselves by the arrival of the twist ending. This is a little film that is sure to hit the right note for any fan of horror comedy or noir thrillers. While there was no discussion of the extension of this film into a feature, it could easily become an intermediate point in Alex’s (are you sure that’s her real name?) longer story arc. And that’s a movie I’d love to see!
Until you have an opportunity to see “The Appointment,” you can read more about it on IMDb, or follow it on Facebook. If you want to know more about San Diego’s Horrible Imaginings Film Festival, you can check out the Horrible Imaginings website or follow Horrible Imaginings on Facebook.
Yes, Virginia, women play roles other than victim. “Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames” by Ray Hagen and Laura Wagner, with a foreward by Jane Russell, looks at some of the great killer women in film. In the middle of the twentieth century, the movies began to produce a new sort of woman – drop-dead gorgeous, witty, and not afraid to speak her mind. These gals could slay you with a look – and if that didn’t work, there was always the pistol in their garters! “Killer Tomatoes” profiles the lives and careers of fifteen ground-breaking actresses including Joan Blondell, Ida Lupino, Mercedes McCambridge, Jane Russell, Ann Sheridan, and Barbara Stanwyck. — McC
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