Short Film Review “Fine Dining” 1



First, the Recap:

Ah the joys of being inextinguishable. Immortal. Lasting. Never growing old, being around to see so much incredible history occur, outlasting most who might desire your “untimely” demise. Yeah, it’s really the bomb! Yet, there remains a rather insidious thorn in the side of one Vladdy Daddy (Joel Bernard), an over half-millennium old vampire who’s apparently had it up to his fangs with having to feed off of blood bank bags instead of the natural prey for the creatures of the night–good ole human necks! Yes, the thrill of the hunt is gone, life has become coagulated, and undead.

Present with him in the small café where Vladdy carries on his lament is his main squeeze, Lisa Bear (Elyse Price), a much “younger” vamp at only 200+ years old who seems both engaged by yet often harried to exasperation by Vladdy’s incessant ramblings and angry demeanor with this dilemma. Much to the vague amusement of the cafe’s Waitress (Diana Avellino), Lisa manages to listen intently and admittedly agree with Vladdy about how watered down and politically correct vamps have become in the modern age. Once the conversation reaches a pinnacle, the pair finally decide, however, that enough is enough and that instinct should once again reign.

Next, my Mind:

In spite of the ultimately profanity-laden approach to the dialogue that does, in truth, suit the Tarantino-inspired mood and tone intended (along with an ode to a film classic to boot), this deftly cheeky and sometimes flat out silly 8-minute comedic short film effort from writer/director/producer/cinematographer/editor Usher Morgan does indeed induce everything from chuckles to full out guffaws in presenting its narrative about two immutable souls longing for the golden years. What makes this more clever is the utilization of live-action cinematography then rendered to appear in an animation-style visual, giving the entire effort what might be described as a pulp fiction look, which again, is quite apropos here (watch the film and understand, my friends). The pacing is brisk and flows smoothly as the camera captures this intimate, primarily two-person extended scene with concise and straightforward execution.

Bernard is a total riot here as Vladdy Daddy, a vampire who has his cape in a serious bunch over the fact that human beings have not been on the menu for some time now, which has therefore tainted the entire meaning of even being a vampire, much less the fact that there’s no longer a single ounce of “sport” involved with gaining a meal, instead “content” to drain a blood bag from the local plasma bank. His indignant posturing just elicits laughs due to the absurdity of it all, yet is it more disconcerting you find yourself somehow agreeing with his viewpoint? This is all testament to Bernard’s performance, and one can easily tell he relished every bit of playing the dissatisfied night creature.

Price likewise does a fine job as Lisa Bear, the evidently loyal yet decidedly long-suffering soulmate to Vladdy who, while agreeing with almost everything her beau is griping about, seems to still be hesitant to necessarily act on any of his temptation-filled offerings to see the pair return to their bloodthirsty ways and go after a good bite on the neck.  By the time everything culminates into what appears will be a full-out vamp attack on the poor denizens of the café, Lisa is just as riled up as Vladdy, her much more “youthful” vigor finally taking over, again playing into the mock-up of the celluloid classic being humorously parodied here. Price also very much seems to enjoy sinking her teeth into this character, even if in initially more controlled ways than the gregarious Bernard.  The two play off each other solidly as well.

Supporting moments are provided by Avellino as the cafe’s lone Waitress who might actually have a bigger notion about the nature of the couple’s conversation than she lets on. In total, while this reviewer doesn’t overtly like all the harsh language present here, “Fine Dining” is a witty, fresh, and ultimately fun little slice of indie film comedy very much worthy of a look if you can get past the “F”-bombs. But, also, once one sees the purposeful nature of it all based on what is being presented, you fully realize the value of a well-done piece of comedic respite that doesn’t suck. Well, actually, perhaps here, it does.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!

One comment on “Short Film Review “Fine Dining”

  1. Reply Danielle Oct 25,2017 4:56 pm

    Bernard and Price are dynamic. I saw this film at a film festival and I have to agree. The audience laughed at every laughable moment, whether verbally provoked or just at the sight of Bernard’s or Price’s countenance. I’d love to see this on the big screen again, if I ever have an opportunity!!! The actor playing the waitress was also fun to watch, every moment was pure genius….amazing talent. I think we all could identify with feeling unsatisfied at one point or another … and needing a plan to spice things up. Thanks for the review. I relived a wonderful 8 minutes from that film festival (was a great summer).

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