A chronic philanderer falls victim to an extortion scheme when he is abducted by four masked strangers demanding retribution for his sins.
Written By: Joshua Wagner,
Directed By: Joshua Wagner,
The plot and promo for "The Badger Game" may feel like a gimmick, and no wonder: It kind of is. The familiar kidnapping scenario, and even the most recent fad, freaky looking masks, are all here. What's surprising is how much these things work, and how convincing this film can be. Writers / Directors Joshua Wagner and Thomas Zambeck manage to pull together an indie flick that is skillfully written, and even half-way plausible! The scenario is seemingly turned around, because we meet the kidnappers first, and we, more-or-less, take in the story from their point of view. The end result is a film that manages to entertain for it's entire 99 minutes, a feat in itself for any film, especially an indie.
Aside from numerous low light situations, the production quality was pretty damn great. For a film with such a small budget, by movie standards, I really don't have anything bad to write or comment on. A few moments of greatness emerge when you consider "The Badger Game" could be playing on Cable TV, and for the most part you wouldn't realize it was an indie! Featuring some decent lensing, and a knack for showcasing the pro's of the film, "The Badger Game" doesn't muddle your mind as you try and figure out what's happening. A slick, fast editing style keeps the action rolling, even through some slow dialog sequences. Add to that a great audio mix and you're left with the whole package. Even if you look away, you don't need to guess what's taking place in the world on-screen. You know what's happening, you can hear it loud and clear. Come to think of it, the entire post process seems to be done really well, resulting in a film that is cohesive, with everything sounding and looking the way it was meant to. The other aspect of the film that really got my attention was the acting. A lot of indie films always fall just below the mark in the acting department. Not here. "The Badger Game" comes across as real and true, even if you have to suspend your grasp on the reality of the scene for a moment. Without writing the names of all the main characters; and the cast who portray them, let's just say that everyone did a fantastic job. The banter and grit of some of the conversations felt real, elevating the film that much higher. Excellent job all around ladies and gents.
This is a film I would love to get a hard copy of for our collection/archive, and I'll have to do just that. Sure, we've seen this stuff before. Kidnappers, douche characters, and even weird animal masks. There's nothing new or groundbreaking. The simple fact is that any film, indie or not, that can hold my attention for over an hour and a half has done something right. The name of the game is to provide an escape and in that respect, "The Badger Game" brings does a fine job.
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