20 Funerals is the latest film to hit DVD from Wilmington, NC filmmaker Anghus Houvouras (Fearsome, Thugs Got Game). It's the story of a group of cops who -after the death of a fellow officer- decide to use some unconventional methods. Twenty names make up their list of scum that must be removed from the street in order to clean things up. The plan comes with a strong set of rules in order to keep things organised, but some rules are made to be broken. Things begin to turn sour when the cops are inevitably called upon to investigate the cases they're creating themselves.
It's a clever concept that could easily have been created by the mind of Quinton Tarantino and has some impressive dialog to match. This film is a must see for anyone with a dark sense of humour or love for violence, action, hip-hop, or simply, independent cinema.
Being an independent filmmaker myself with many influences and heroes, I know how easy it is to stick nods to personal favourites into a script. Quite often these can come across out of place and character. But in 20 Funerals the writer/director manages to tie in references to pop culture and Greek mythology and use them to the scripts advantage. He is able to add depth and realism to the characters and the world they live in.
Clocking in at just less than eighty minutes, the film is a tad on the short side. However apart from adding three of four more funerals, there's little that could be done with this. The film tells its story in a clear and cool way but does come with a few faults. Sadly the opening sequence doesn't come across too strong, but this is soon forgiven and forgot when the film sets itself on track. What follows is a set of great performances from the leads, including DJ Naylor, Mark Mench, and the majority of the supporting cast, backed up by a solid Hip-Hop soundtrack, and great visuals.
I was hooked from the moment the 20 Funerals plan came into play and stayed gripped throughout. With plenty of plot twists, character developments, and outside party intervention, the film kept me on the edge of my seat. While watching you get a strong sense of the fun and hard work put in by the cast and crew which makes the whole experience even more gratifying. I look forward with great anticipation for this exciting filmmakers next piece 'Dead Heist'.
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