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Florida Film Festival: Doomsdays

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Doomsdays might have made an entertaining short film. As it stands, it is not particularly long for a feature but it is way too long for this particular story. By the end of its runtime it has worn out its welcome. The story, like its protagonists, meander from place to place without very much happening. Both conflict and character development are thin, and by the end I might have pondered what it all meant, if the film had made me care enough to wonder.

Dirty Fred (Justin Rice) and Bruho (Leo Fitzpatrick) are a couple of petty criminals who wander around the Catskills and break into presently unoccupied vacation homes. They squat for a few deals, stealing and vandalizing, then move on. Dirty Fred is a hipster intellectual in love with the sound of his own voice, and Bruho has a mean temper and a fondness for destroying cars. Along the way they pick up an apprentice in Jaidon (Brian Charles Johnson), a misfit teenager who immediately idolizes the two. They eventually pick up Reyna (Laura Campbell), whose presence drives a wedge between Dirty Fred and Bruho as they both vie for her affection.

It didn't take long for the movie to begin to grate on me. It doesn't help that none of the characters are very likeable or demonstrate any depth. Fitzpatrick's Bruho has something of an arc but the twist about his character, if it can be called that, is out of left field and feels shoehorned in for a cheap laugh. Dirty Fred is one of the slimiest and unintentionally least likeable characters in a movie for quite a while. He's supposed to be a brainy iconoclast but he comes off as a creep. There's nothing funny about these two clowns breaking into peoples' houses and trashing them for no other reason than they can, and it happens over and over and over.

I'm not sure what writer/director Eddie Mullins was going for here. I could theorize about the themes of the movie, that it's a commentary on our materialistic society. Or maybe it's just a fatalistic allegory about our doomed civilization. Whatever the purpose, it comes across as pretentious nonsense that might have succeeded better had it been a lot shorter.

For more info on the Florida Film Festival, visit the official website, and be sure to check out my other reviews from the festival here.