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The Straitjacket Lottery (2004)

When Boris Durban loses a busload of mental health patients, he'll resort to any means in order to get them back. This comedic short is a window into the erratic world of mental health and the thin line between idiosyncrasy and insanity.


Doug Karr


Sierra Bellows (story), Doug Karr




Credited cast:
Andy Jones Andy Jones ... Boris Durban
David Huband ... Ralph Stipes
Tara Slone Tara Slone ... Nancy Leah
Joe Cobden ... Angus Weir
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Deborah Allen Deborah Allen ... Mrs. Gould
Sierra Bellows Sierra Bellows ... Mental Health Patient
Stephen Coats ... Jared
Richard Collins Richard Collins ... Peter Flemming
John Davie ... Donald Hunter
Corey Janes Corey Janes ... Dean
John Maclaren ... Lance Chancery
Kathryn MacLellan ... Janet Knight (as Kathryn Maclellan)
Stephen Manuel Stephen Manuel ... Jim Bostock
Nancy Marshall Nancy Marshall ... Lucy
Daniel Matmor Daniel Matmor ... Howard Blantyre


Boris, a familiar blue collar worker, is issued his orders for the day's patient transfer: five patients due at a maximum security facility by eleven o'clock. But when a patient with intense claustrophobia manages to overcome her illness by leading the way for the other patients to escape, Boris is confronted with an empty bus. With the clock ticking, he tries his best to recover the patients, but after his attempts are foiled, Boris has to face facts - either he makes the transfer, or he's out of a job. So, in his compulsion to deliver, Boris decides to fill his quota by enticing some unsuspecting civilians onto the bus. The Straitjacket Lottery is a comedic short film which takes us on an outlandish ride on a hospital bus and shows us that we're each entitled to our psychosis. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's a long ride back to mental health


Comedy | Short







Release Date:

30 January 2004 (Canada) See more »

Filming Locations:

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


Box Office


CAD150,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Nominated - Best Comedy - Canada Golden Sheaf Awards, 2004 See more »

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User Reviews

Smart, funny and a little frightening.
30 August 2004 | by ImpudentcakesSee all my reviews

This film is a very cool find. It follows the misadventures of a bus driver as he attempts to transfer a group of mental patients to a different hospital. Naturally, things go wrong. This is a smart satire of the trust we place in authority figures. We assume that someone in charge is someone to listen to and believe blindly, sometimes to our detriment. The opposite is true, too: will anyone believe what a crazy person says? I really connected with the sense of absurdity, which the filmmakers balance with the appearance of reality. This isn't something easy to achieve, so it was really satisfying to see it pulled off. The use of mental illness classifications on screen, probably inspired by the DSM-IV, was a nice touch. It gave insight into all of the characters, while parodying the urge to categorize every single personality quirk. How crazy does someone have to be to be labeled insane, and what differentiates the insane from everyone else? The cast is really good too, especially Andy Jones (of Codco fame.) His character goes through several emotional changes, and he manages to keep each one consistent and believable. I would be interested in seeing what could happen next with these characters, although it isn't actually necessary. This film stands well as it is, with a satisfying ending. I look forward to seeing what comes next from Doug Karr and Sierra Bellows.

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