Inspired by a series of actual racial hazing incidents, 'Followers' focuses on three friends who want to pledge an exclusive fraternity. The friendship disintegrates when one of the friends... See full summary »
A former street tough returns to his Philadelphia home after a stint in the military. Back on his home turf, he once again finds himself tangling with the mob boss who was instrumental in his going off to be a soldier.
Inspired by a series of actual racial hazing incidents, 'Followers' focuses on three friends who want to pledge an exclusive fraternity. The friendship disintegrates when one of the friends is not accepted because he is black. To test the loyalty of the two white friends, the fraternity president forces them to target their African American friend through a series of dangerous, racially motivated hazing incidents. Written by
Shot in 1996 as a student film for a total budget of $50,000. Filmed on 16mm with a crew made up of students, and featuring a cast of unknowns, the film went on a college tour and had a brief release in October of 2000. See more »
I saw "Followers" on TV, and I have to say that while the subject matter could make an interesting, thought-provoking, dramatic and compelling film, THIS film is unfortunately not it. Among the biggest problems here is that the two lead actors, Sam Trammell and Eddie Robinson, are not very good - they both skim the surfaces of their characters and neither one is able to summon the depth of emotions the events in the story call for (Trammell's voice-overs are particularly heavy-handed and deadly). Mark Dobies and Jerry Laurino are reasonably convincing as unsympathetic characters who ultimately cross a line even they were not prepared for, but they are not helped by the direction or script at all - the dramatic climax, which should be shocking, is almost laughably cartoon-like instead. The film does have a nice look to it, but some of the story elements are far-fetched (Trammell's character's cluelessness, for instance), and the direction is lackluster at best and snail-paced at worst, so even those moments that could have felt authentic come off as being false.
I felt as if I was watching a reenactment of the plot events done by non-actors, for educational and moral-uplifting purposes, rather than eavesdropping on horrific real life events, which is of course what watching a film about this subject should feel like. I could only recommend "Followers" as possible research material if you are interested in this topic, since it's supposedly based on real-life hazing incidents, but as a movie it really falls flat.
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