Sunday, April 11, 2010

Local Film Night at Master of None! - London Betty

London Betty

So not too long ago I heard that there was going to be a screening of a new film by local filmmaker Thomas Edward Seymour. I had seen some of his previous work and figured I’d take a night out and check it out. I’m glad I did; let’s start with the event itself. It took place at this nice little hole in the wall gallery/photography studio called Master of none on State St. in New Haven, CT. It’s the kind of place that has this wonderful ambiance and everywhere you look there’s something interesting to see. I suspect Master of None is a name the blog of thunder will be seeing many time in the future. (read more after the jump)

The film itself revolves around a couple of thieves named Billy and Volgo (played by Thomas Edward Seymour and Russ Russo respectively). They’re not thieves in the traditional sense, you see they don’t break into houses. They’ll only steal things found on peoples lawns and sell them off to make some cash. We’re told briefly about the two and their best friend Jess. She’s a whore and as they keep explaining in the film, not in a bad way, she simply has sex for money (it’s kind of the same way people respond in Seinfeld to hearing that someone is gay with “not that that’s a bad thing” it’s a funny joke and it works).

 Not that there's anything wrong with these glasses

The film also follows the story of Betty (Nicole Lewis) who, as you might imagine, is from London. She’s traveled to the small town of Pharisee to become a reporter with the local paper. The paper is run by Maury (Daniel Von Bargan, Supertroopers) whom we’re lead to believe is an agoraphobic (or maybe I just inferred that, the real reason is much funnier). He runs the paper from his home and tells Betty to submit her stories from home. Betty Originally is told to do a fluff piece of a bake off at the local church, but finds a much more interesting story. The story proper starts about the time that Betty witnesses Billy stealing a gas grill from a man’s yard WHILE HE’S COOKING ON IT. Through some hilarious confusion involving posted flyers she assumes that he’s setting up an illicit sexual transaction with the mayor involving hot dogs.

Speaking of the mayor when we meet him he’s being accused of some foul indiscretions and the next time we see him he’s hiring a new bodyguard/personal trainer. The interview scene created some good laughs when the Mayor would simply ask if the candidate would have any objection to doing something, how you would say, morally questionable. He finds his man in Roy McCoy (Matt Ford, Bikini Bloodbath, Bikini Bloodbath Carwash, Bikini Bloodbath Christmas) who responds with the simple yet effective “If the money’s right, I’d sodomize a goat”. You sir, are HIRED! And it’s a good thing too because Roy easily has a couple of the funniest lines in the flick. Most notably “you beautiful bitch, you shot me” which is delivered so subtly I wonder how many people in the audience missed it. Thankfully I didn’t.

Roy and Tad, doing what they do best (respectively)

Once the story gets rolling it’s starts delving into the oddball and the absurd (in a very good way) with the mayor and his cronies getting more insane (specifically is coked out assistant Tad who each time you see him he’s got a thicker layer of white stuff on his nose). Things continually get stolen and returned (usually by the same person, Billy). We learn what the Mayor likes to do in his free time (I’ll spare you the details, but it involves nudity, a knife, bags and bags of drugs and large screen projections of porn…uh, so much for spring the details).

Eventually the Mayor goes kind of mad and kidnaps Betty (who, by this point, Billy is falling for). So it’s up to Billy to save her (he fails). So it’s up to Volgo and Jess to save them (they fail). Thank goodness those two brought around an ex-marine transvestite pre-op hit man named Sgt Stone er, Barbara who is played by Phil Hall, contributing editor of Film Threat, author and who totally steals every scene he’s in with insanely beautiful lines like “That’s no way to treat a lady” and (in regards to some fireworks given to him to throw at the baddies) “Where did these weapons come from, the Coast Guard?…SEMPER FI!”. Barbara saves the day for the kidnapped and you’d imagine everything would be perfect at this point? Well keep wondering till you get to see the film (there’s a link above to buy it, do it and you won’t regret it, trust me).

TAG! you're it!

All in all London Betty is an incredibly funny flick that from what I hear was shot in 2 weeks in and around central Connecticut. You’d never know; the acting is great, the jokes are really funny and not once did I ever wonder what time it was or if the film was going to come to an end. A good chunk of that credit goes to Thomas Edward Seymour who wrote/directed and starred in the picture, But I'd be remiss to not give credit to the cast and the amazing Clint Howard for his narration (a voice impossible not to recognize). My hats off to thee for making me laugh for a couple of hours on a drunken Saturday night.

London Betty (Red Band) Trailer from Hale Manor Productions on Vimeo.

I don’t think there are too many of them thar snobby types in my readership so I think the good majority of you all will enjoy it as much as I did.

9 out of 10

Drink up…I’ve got movies to watch!


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