7.5/10
16
3 user

Death of a Wizard (2012)

| Short, Drama, History
During the social unrest of the 1960's, three friends decide to take matters into their own hands and go after the Grand Wizard in their town.

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(co-writer), (co-writer)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Jaxson Mitchell ... Billy
Marcese Lorenzo Roberts ... Virgil
Devinron Ready ... Remmy
Carissa Meagher ... Older Sister
Kayli Maree Tolleson ... Linda
Kayli Tolleson ... Grandmother (as Kaylie Tolleson)
Tony Scarsella ... Ed
Todd Morgan ... George
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Storyline

In the wake of civil unrest sweeping the country, African American teens Virgil and Remmy decide it's time to turn the tables on a prominent member of their community - a KKK Grand Wizard. Caught between their friendship and burning desire for justice is Billy, a 12-year-old Caucasian boy with a limited understanding about the nature of hate and violence. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Short | Drama | History

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Remade as A Lynching on Cheyenne Road See more »

Soundtracks

Brooklyn Blues
Written by Buck Strickland
Performed by Buck Strickland
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User Reviews

 
A true punch in the gut,
10 January 2013 | by See all my reviews

Did exactly what a good short ought to do - Hooked me, drew me in and when I caught in the momentum of the story and characters, shocked me with a brutal and savage ending.

Death of a WIzard offers a beautifully grim snapshot of a time and place that I remember only ephemerally from my youth, but it evokes that era perfectly. I think the only other film I have seen to use the B&W format this effectively in conveying small-town American life was The Last Picture Show, and that was 40 years ago! And of course it is to a very different end here...

La Hein was probably a large influence on the director (as well as early Darren Arronofsky films like Pi) but it still has enough of its own thing going on to feel fresh and captivating. Dialogue is very lean and memorable despite some stereotypical "redneck" secondary characters I could have lived without (the weakest scene in the film for me).

This is probably the kind of film that will polarize people quite a bit; I don't know how this is doing on the festival front but if the audience I saw the film with is any indication, it's a pretty clear "love it or hate it" affair. I'm leaning toward the former despite some hesitant feelings about the ending, which felt like an abrupt and violent cop-out without wanting to spoil things too much...Kudos for a sparse but eerie musical score as well - creepy choral music isn't really what I associate with stories like this, but it worked really well in-context.

Not for everyone, but a visceral and evocative short that show a lot of promise. I felt like I had been punched in the gut when all was said and done and if that were the filmmaker's intent, they sure as hell succeeded on that front!

W


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