Wednesday, December 14, 2011

All God's Creatures (2011, Ryan Cummings & Frank Licata)

All God's Creatures is an independent, micro budget film ($25,000) that made its premiere at the 2011 Hoboken International Film Festival.  Though not available on DVD yet, I was lucky enough to receive a screener from the producer.  It's always fun getting screeners of low budget, indie films because you never know what you are going to get (and I've received plenty of stinkers before).  Occasionally, a film really stands out and reminds me how important independent films can be in this world of Transformers and pointless remakes.  This is one of them.
All God's Creatures stars Josh Folan (who also wrote the screenplay) as Jon Smith, a seemingly normal young guy who works at a coffee shop.  Though looks can be deceiving because Jon has a little problem...he likes to bring girls back to his apartment, kill them and dismember them.  After a few meetings with some innocent victims, Jon meets Delia, another seemingly normal person who has her own secret life.  Delia is a prostitute who posts ads on Craigslist.  She is trying to get some money together so she can take her sister out of the abusive home she is currently living in.  After initially rejecting Delia, Jon finally relents and opens up to her (without revealing his biggest secret).  He soon decides that he will quit his murderous ways so he can be with Delia.  However, the past soon rears its ugly head and they both must face their demons.
All God's Creatures was a disturbing, violent film focusing on addiction, acceptance and the power of love.  I couldn't help but be reminded of American Psycho when introduced to the character of Jon, but the film is much more than just some yuppie who kills people.  It was really a love story that happened to focus on two characters with dangerous secrets that were willing to give it all up for each other.  The dialogue was well written and the story had some nice unexpected twists.  For such a low budget picture, the cinematography and the acting were both very professional and I didn't find myself confused or bored as I normally am.  Usually a film like this would show its budget but All God's Creatures is an exception.  Overall, I enjoyed the film and hope that it gets wider distribution.
RATING:  8/10

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