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A suspenseful drama about a young couple on a road trip who get caught in the midst of a worldwide gas shortage.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Dell
Barry McBrien ...
Hotel Manager
John Woodruff ...
Cal
...
Gas Thief
...
Robber #1
Ronald Thomas ...
Robber #2
Niecy Cerise ...
Elise
John Michael ...
Camper
Nicholas Neyeloff ...
Passenger
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Storyline

A suspenseful drama about a young couple on a road trip who get caught in the midst of a worldwide gas shortage.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where will you be when it runs out?


Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

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Release Date:

25 January 2011 (USA)  »

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$10,000 (estimated)
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16:9 HD
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User Reviews

 
A brave try.
5 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

All stories, ultimately, are love stories. The vehicle used to tell this one is a catastrophic gas crisis that catches two lovers unaware as they exit the woods following a week-long camping trip in the throws of their own inter-emotional crisis. Empty overtly focuses its energy on the latter, personal crisis, and the title aptly reflects a romance at its terminal point. As an emotional race through the chaotic and damaging emotions attending the dissolution of a deeply felt relationship, the film works, and at times it works very well. I watched it through to its rather abrupt ending, and that says something. For a feature film made on 10 grand, this actually says a whole lot.

However, great as the premise may be, and as sound as the fractured romance plays, this film's overall execution is touch and go.

The gas crisis as plot vehicle is something of a jalopy riddled with holes (see others' reviews on this). Still, if one backs away from its rusty details, the conundrum does actually run and functions perfectly well as a foil for the drama to unfold.

The script is hot and cold - on again, off again - yet it was on just enough to keep me engaged in the unfolding drama between Piper and Dell.

Likewise for the acting. Williams' portrayal as Piper was strong and convincing. Carlo as Dell was less so, but I felt this had more to do with weaker scripting for his character. I actually found the leads' chemistry to be quite endearing. And McBrien did a great job as the spooked, neurotic hotelier.

The essentials of the direction were solid, and I appreciated the choice of camera angles used throughout. Highlights take place in the hotel, and shots of Piper were always at their best. Yes, the fight scene was a little underwhelming, and there were a few further minor downers. However, Fangoria reports this film was made in just 10 days in the dead of winter, and when I consider this, I give it plenty of props.

Editing: given the extreme constraints the editor had to work with, I'd say he did an admirable job. Overall production values were low, but this doesn't necessarily hurt the film. I loved the folksy guitar track; it provided an air of humility and compassion throughout, two qualities the story required to move forward.

Could a better feature film have been made using this premise of gas crisis, but with only 10 days, and $10,000? Maybe. But I haven't seen it, and in the meantime, this film had the courage to try. The result is ultimately watchable and often satisfying. I'm impressed and immensely encouraged to know that this kind of project found wings.


4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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