A couple of months ago I got a email from a gentleman named Scott. Scott works in PR for a small film company called Kelly’s Filmworks which is based in Kentucky. In the course of doing my reviews,I was lucky enough to found a boxed set of thier releases after watching a movie,”Another Perfect Stranger“,a couple of years beforehand. That film and a film called “Flywheel” by the Kendrick Brothers were my introduction into faith based films.
When I started doing film reviews,I found the box set of Kelly’s Filmworks films and then “Flywheel”at my library and I knew I wanted to review them. While I had reviewed a couple of bigger budgeted faith based films,I hadn’t done any indies and I wanted to change that. So I slowly went through the Kelly’s Filmworks boxset and shared my thoughts on their movies.
I shared my reviews via the usual platforms which includes IMDb and sent my reviews to Kelly’s Filmworks as well but never heard anything back but since that happens about 90% of time,no sweat.
Then I got that email from Scott from out of the blue,it seems like someone had found my reviews and brought them to the attention of Jefferson and Kelly Moore,the owners of Kelly’s Filmworks.
They had read the reviews and were now through Scott,saying thank you. You see,indie films,much less Christian indie films,have a hard time gaining any level of press. For every indie review you many read,there are probably 10 more that are passed over. There are many reasons for this,mostly being that everyone wants to talk blockbusters or darling indies that maybe a A-lister actor or director is doing between said blockbusters. Its all about readership and viewership,what sells and what is being looked at. Hard enough for a indie film,even indie horror struggles at time for mainstream press space. But Christian indie films?? They may be on the very bottom of the film world when it comes to getting the word out. There just isn’t very many writers who are covering a company like Kelly’s Filmworks and that isn’t really right.
Scott very kindly asked me if I needed anything from Kelly’s Filmworks and I requested the last three films they have released,two feature films and a feature length documentary of which were sent to us.
I decided to review the sequel to the film “Clancy” called “Clancy Once Again”……
So the cheetah and I watched “Clancy Once Again” and I am completely baffled. In the original film,Clancy (Christina Fougnie) was accidently killed by a police sniper and we saw what happens to the various characters in the wake of her dying. The bad guys got justice,Nick Best (Jefferson Moore) got sober and reclaimed his life. The story was complete as far as “Clancy” goes.
In terms of a sequel,if Moore,who writes all the screenplays,had wanted to tell another Nick Best story,I think that would have been a good idea and I think would have kept the audience that “Clancy” had garnered. But the direction where Moore took “Clancy Once Again” is straight baffling.
The film opens up with a montage of what happened in the first movie and shows Nick sitting down in the hospital right after Clancy has died,heartbroken. Then the scene fades out and a “What If…..” appears on the screen.
So basically we are getting a alternate story showing what might have happened if Clancy had survived her injuries. We learn that Nick is appointed Clancy’s guardian and she has earned a full ride to college where she is going to school to become a doctor. Her mom killed herself in rehab and the police chief who was behind chaos in the first movie is in jail. Nick’s police friend Avery,who helped him while Nick was struggling has been promoted to detective but his fellow cops don’t like him because he got the chief busted.
Avery is later kidnapped by some thugs that the former police chief’s son hires and Nick goes to help him despite Clancy begging him not to go. This causes a riff between Nick and Clancy that a former soical worker who worked on Clancy’s welfare case helps mend. Avery is rescued,Nick is beat up but survives and is reunited with Clancy. The two part ways as Clancy leaves for college as she calls him “Dad” for the first time. Then the last scene is right back to Nick being heartbroken by Clancy’s dying.
Like I said,I was left baffled by the movie. I think Jefferson needed to push it back to the scene where was Clancy was shot and then show the alternative story and then if he wanted the happy ending,it would made more sense to start while she was alive. But the fact Moore showed what happened in the wake of Clancy’s passing and her positive influence on the lives she had touched was clear enough and didn’t really warrant a sequel. Clancy’s story was done……so then why the sequel?
I gave some thought into this and the answer came to me while watching “Clancy Once Again” once again. This is the first film where God isn’t really mentioned in the narrative. Where as in every other Jefferson Moore script,God and faith are featured upfront and center,this isn’t the case here in this film.
Other then a prayer scene that seems more cliched then heartfelt,”Clancy Once Again” plays out like a low budget indie drama and that is why it loses its spark for me. The term “faith based films” started off meaning something as various small productions released their Christian based movies and they had all the right intentions. The crowds,while small,start to show that people really responded to these movies. Soon enough Hollywood came and corrupted the genre as only they can. Instead of having small films using friends,family and church-goers as the cast and shooting in their own churches and homes,you saw typical Hollywood locations and several Hollywood actors being cast and any faith or God Himself was pretty much removed from the movie. The term “faith based” lost its real meaning and heart.
Maybe “Clancy Once Again” was aware of this and tried very hard to suppress its message as not to seem like one of those movies,if so,it was a huge misstep because that message of faith and hope is what sets Kelly’s Filmworks apart from other Christian indies. Adding God to every film makes every film special,remove that element and Clancy Once Again just becomes another very low budget indie film with a lot of production issues.
But Clancy Once Again has its charms,the usual cast of actors that appear in every Kelly’s Filmworks release once again are shown….but other then an outstanding turns by Christina Fougnie and Tom Luce,there isn’t much fire in the performances,even Jefferson himself seems a bit distracted and a bit off by his own script. Fougnie as a grown up young woman does her best to give Clancy some real depth and the steady Luce as the disgraced police chief gives the best performance in his small part.
I don’t know what the future holds for Jefferson and Kelly Moore but I do hope its a return to what got them them here,releasing films of hope and faith,God knows we need that more then ever today.
“Clancy Once Again”while unrated should be considered PG-13 for violence and it has a run time of 97 minutes. Special features include a Questions and Answers featuette with Christina Fougnie.
You can order your copy of this film by going to the Kelly’s Filmworks website.
The cheetah and I both gave “Clancy Once Again” two flat thumb/paw,we are looking forward to the next project.
Do you or have you watched a Christian movie and if so,what were your impressions? Drop a comment below.