6.7/10
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My Friend Johnny Keller (2010)

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Harry Singleton
Andrew James Parkhill ...
Johnny Keller
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paola Valadez ...
Taylor Cohen
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Short | Drama | Thriller

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$12,000 (estimated)
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A Gritty Short That Won't Fail To Keep You Guessing
8 February 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Before we begin, let's go over the synopsis. Harry (Harry Karp, DISPATCH) works at the Travel Inn delivering towels to residents. One day, he delivers towels to a room, host of the slightly off-kilter, Johnny Keller (Andrew Parkhill, ELI & THE GOLDEN FISH). So why is today any different? Johnny's covered in blood.

As the years of the 21st century seep through our fingers, we find that Hollywood has been in quite the awkward position when it comes to finding any sort of 'new blood' to keep the generic Rom Coms from taking over society. Who knew that production execs need not look any further than to the student population at Chapman University, specifically a young man by the name of Kevin Slee (ELI & THE GOLDEN FISH, DISPATCH). Privy to the drama genre, Slee's first steps into the thriller genre - or drama-thriller, I suppose - have been just as successful as everything else he's touched. Very.

Let's start with the good stuff. Having seen a few of Artistic Analogies other productions, I had a pretty good idea what I was going to see when I clicked the link to view this. What I didn't realize was that the following 8 min and 30 second would be a surprising hit to the gut. Harry Karp was PERFECT for this, nailing his part as the nervous towel boy realizing he probably shouldn't have gone to work that day. When he spoke, I listened. I almost sincerely believed that was really sweat on his forehead, he certainly didn't f*** around, and you can tell his took his role very seriously. Andrew Parkhill, playing our sadistic murderer, does a good job at playing the role of a bad guy who has clearly lost his mind. He does a good job at making the audience want to know more about him. Kudos to the production team as well - the sound, lighting, and continuity was spot on. Also, a high five to whoever decided there should be a pr0n video playing in the background. Very classy in smudging out the nudity, yet leaving the audio to really set the tone for the seedy hotel.

Now for the bad stuff. I don't have much to say, but it's certainly worth taking note. The story, for one thing, is an interesting, well done screenplay, but you can see how it's going to end from the moment Harry opens the door. The blood effects were only minorly distracting, but there was a major continuity issue concerning them when it came to Parkhill's character at about halfway through the 7 minute mark. It kinda took me out of the story a little bit, but only very briefly. Some of the dialogue needed work - I was led to believe that Johnny and Harry knew each other several times or that perhaps Harry knew more about Johnny than we're led to believe... only to be thrust in the opposite direction. It was a little rocky in that respect.

Overall, this film truly was well done and I wish it'd been longer. I would've liked to know more about Parkhill's character, he seems so interesting! We can all only hope that Slee decides to delve even deeper into the world of thrillers, and perhaps even one day do a horror film - but perhaps that's just me :p

Check out this film short if you get the chance, you won't be disappointed. 8/10


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