Director – Mark Colegrove (Isle of the Damned)
Starring – Chris Kamsch (Zombinatrix), Kathy Carson (Call Girl of Cthulhu), and Rick Miller (Xavi)
Release Date – 2015
Rating – 4/5
Tagline – “In this driving school the only thing more dangerous than the learning curve are the instructors”
Dire Wit Films is a company I have followed for several years now after finding Isle of the Damned on Netflix. I was immediately hooked on the film and soon followed that viewing up withPleasures of the Damned which is another Dire Wit Films release. Since then I have watched Mutantis, 7th Day, and the recent Pig Pen release. All are amazing films and deserve your time.
Late last year I discovered that this indie production company was working on a comedy and branching away from horror. While most shunned them for this move I praised it. I knew they would give us an amazing film. I reached out to them once again and they sent a review copy my way. Sadly, it was just a disc and I put it up to stop my toddler from finding it and destroying. I then forgot about it until recently when I was organizing my film collection. Sorry for dropping the ball, guys!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a group of drug addicted driving instructors for Driven to Succeed. The owner is running for political office and was running unopposed until a mysterious man shows up to run against him with plans on shutting his school down. The driving instructors band together, along with a student, to stop this corrupt politician so their boss, another corrupt politician, can win the election. However, what they discover along the way is something straight from science fiction.**Spoiler Alert**
Dire Wit Films started out making hilarious horror flicks that made fun of the cliches that made older horror films so much fun. They then mixed it up a bit and offered up one hell of a serious horror film and then a drama/thriller about wasted teenage youth. Now they have set their sights on the standard comedy and succeeded. You can even say they were Driven to Succeed! No? Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
The acting in this one is surprising well done. When I first found Dire Wit they had released Isle and Pleasures which was full of goofy characters and cast members just acting crazy on camera. These were fun roles but did not require a lot of talent. However, 7th Day and Pig Pen was a huge jump from that and Driven to Succeed follows in their footsteps delivering amazing performances from the entire cast.
The story for this one is straight from the 80s and has been the basis for dozens of comedies from that time frame. You know the story, the teenagers have to do something before an evil person/corporation/government agency take their jobs from them and end up unemployed. I even think this was a Saved by the Bell episode when the show turned stupid and they were sky instructors or some shit like that. I loved it. This is a story line that we no longer see and it was cool to see it adapted into modern times and filled with drugs. It was funny and pulled the viewer in. This particular story was also layered and every character had their own side stories that were funny and entertaining.
Finally, those of you looking for blood and guts will be very disappointed and clearly did not pick up on the fact that this is a comedy and not a horror flick. Overall, Driven to Succeed is fucking fantastic. The film is funny, well written, has a brilliant cast, and shows that the indie scene is alive and well. This is why I love Dire Wit and will continue to support them and their work. Keep up the good work guys!