May 20, 2015 Pieces of Talent (Movie Review)
Writer and Director David Long (Kidnapped 2014), has pushed the envelope with the release of his latest Horror collaboration Pieces of Talent. Co-written and directed by veteran Joe Stauffer (Dream 2010), Pieces of Talent will be released by Shutter Blade Media, on a date to be confirmed. Multi-talented Long also stars as the main protagonist, aptly named David Long. David uses his film-making skills in Pieces of Talent in more ways than one as the main character shares the same occupation. Hopefully that is where the similarities end, because Long’s portrayal of the exaggerated version of himself is simply terrifying. An innovative Horror film, Pieces of Talent starts off with a bang and the action does not let up until the explosive end.
Struggling actress, Charlotte (Kristi Ray: Celebrity Ghost Stories 2011, Because You’re Too Nice 2012), makes ends meet by working as a waitress in a strip club. Her mother Mary (Barbara Weetman: The Notebook 2004, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood 2002) lives with her while working hard to save money to get her own place. Charlotte does not have much luck with getting acting jobs, but keeps trying to get a break. She hates working in the club, but it is the only way she gets any money without dancing or more seedy activities. One evening, Charlotte witnesses one of the patrons being beaten by the security guard. She manages to stop the attack, but the security guard seizes the man’s video camera. The man passes out after offering the use of his vehicle to Charlotte, presumably to take him to a hospital or home. Charlotte drives the van while the man is passed out to do some sight-seeing and chores. When the man wakes, he introduces himself as David, a film-maker. This is the beginning of their strange, yet deep friendship.
The two part ways the next morning after swapping phone numbers. They agree to keep in touch, and Charlotte promises to try and get David’s camera back. Over the course of the next couple of days, Charlotte and David continue with their daily lives. It is at this juncture that the viewer becomes aware that there is much more to David than what he portrays on the surface. Just under the appearance of an unassuming aspiring film-maker is a deeply depraved sociopath. However, rather than killing innocent victims, he chooses those he feels have wronged him, which includes Producers and Directors. They are then subjected to brutal, gory tortures at the hands of David’s homemade weapons. David has not forgotten about Charlotte, and once they speak, they arrange to meet to discuss her working on his upcoming project. It is safe to assume that Charlotte has no idea what David has in mind for his project, nor how his growing feelings for her will so dramatically alter the course of her life. As their lives draw closer together, both David and Charlotte discover sides of themselves they never would have realized had it not been for each other. Scene by scene, the tension builds and Charlotte gets closer to discovering the truth about David. Nail-biting action ensues, pushing Charlotte and David towards the explosive conclusion and to their own version of Eli Roth’s Hostel (2005).
Told via Lost Footage style, the occasionally shaky camerawork adds realism to the plot. Well-acted by a small up-and-coming cast, the story is tight, and the character development is sound. Multiple points of view add to the edge and intensity of the film. There is just the right level of anticipation, gore, and down-right terror. On a basic level, Pieces of Talent is a love story as tragic as Romeo and Juliet, but entirely more one-sided and violent. It would be easy to dismiss this movie as just another gory Slasher film, but the viewer would be doing themselves a grave injustice by doing so. A tightly wound, twisted plot is complemented by seamless special effects and cinematography by Joe Stauffer. Long is outstanding as the exaggerated version of himself, creating a terrifying maniacal psychopath. Check out the website and perhaps donate some money towards a sequel. Outstanding and ingenious, Pieces of Talent is a must watch. CrypticRock gives Pieces of Talent 5 out of 5 stars.