It’s 12:29 pm
Look outside at a hazy day. We have been told we could get thunderstorms all this week. So far all I have seen was a 10 second sprinkle and no,I’m not kidding.
The wind is starting to pick up however so we shall see what that will bring us.
Speaking of picking up….I took a peek into the email for the blog and found a note from Lee Kolinsky who wrote andhelped produced “Junkie Heaven”. He wanted to know if the cheetah and I would care to take a peek at his short film and review it.
The subject matter is one I know of too well from back in my younger days so seeing a dark gritty film with a Twilight Zone twist is right up our alley.
Junkie Heaven opens up with Doyle (Joseph Halsey) waking up from a night of doing heroin. His room is squalid mess and he is even dirtier then his room. He stumbles to the bathroom where he proceeds to lose a tooth due to his long term drug use. Doyle,in a voiceover,explains how a heroin junkie checks their teeth every morning,right before losing said tooth.
As Doyle tries to gather himself,a clock keeps ticking in the background,ominous in its ticking,Doyle is on borrowed time if he keeps riding the needle. He stares in a cracked mirror and considers rehab for about 15 seconds before admitting he loves drugs much more. As he stares at a needle with just a little of heroin in,he puts it down and turns away…..only to see his body on his bed,a overdose victim.
Before Doyle can grasp what he is seeing,a voice calls out his name…telling Doyle he is dead.
Doyle turns around to see a dark handsome man in a sharp suit. He asks the man if he is the “tooth fairy”. Alexander(Sal Rendino) is no tooth fairy but Doyle is taken aback and thinks this is a joke. When Alexander tells him to take a look in the bed,Doyle really does see he is dead and he rages at Alexander in fear and despair.
But Alexander is ready to offer Doyle deal to stay alive…..all he needs is for Doyle to steal something of incredible power…..and Doyle will have a guide forever in the afterlife. So will Doyle leap at the chance for redemption or is this a bad shot gone haywire in Doyle’s head…….?
So….what did we think of “Junkie Heaven”? We liked it….taking such a dark subject and twisting it into a fantasy tale takes courage and daring. While Kolinsky’s story instantly brings to mind the classic Twilight Zone story,”A Nice Place to Visit”,what he fails to do is hide his ending.
As soon as we meet Alexander,we know where this story is going to take us. Alexander should have been more lightly and brightly. And that is a another small issue in “Junkie Heaven”,the lighting is too dark throughout the film. It fits in perfectly with the first scene but it stays the same throughout the film and it hurts it a little in making everyone and everything murky when every character isn’t so.
Having Alexander appear more angelic or better yet,played by a woman might have had more of a emotional punch…but Sal Rendino is a revelation as Alexander and was the perfect choice. His Alexander completely owns this film…which is saying a lot because Halsey as Doyle and Nicole Vogt-Lowell as Doyle’s girlfriend,Faz are also very strong. You almost get the feeling these two ARE addicts but that is a credit to their acting skills here.
Director Steven Sage has done a fine job with “Junkie Heaven” outside the lighting issues. He keeps his locations tight and cramped with no air. He has captured the addict’s world and what its like to live solely for the next hit. Drug abuse isn’t a easy subject but having a inventive writer and two excellent lead actors make this film work.
The cheetah and I both enjoyed “Junkie Heaven”….and we give it a high thumbs/paws up.
Lee Kolinsky(L),Joseph Halsey(R)
“Junkie Heaven” would be a rated a hard R for language,violence and subject matter.
Run time is about 18 minutes.
Love to hear your feedback and comments on “Junkie Heaven”,leave a comment below.
Thank you to Lee Kolinsky for sending us this fine film