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Review: Vince Brando’s Balls for Brooklyn (Grungy, Gross and Grindhouse)

I know, I know. It’s been a long time since anyone has heard anything about this short film. Well, news broke last night when writer/director Vince Brando notified me that Balls for Brooklyn will finally see its release in January 2019; and he was kind enough to provide me with a screener. With a title like Balls for Brooklyn, you can assume the type of content you’re going to find here and the type of demographic this will best reach. Aimed at stoners, college kids, punks and true independent film fans, this 29 minute short film follows three childhood friends who quit their mundane jobs in the food service industry and attempt to start their own business on the streets of New York. When two hired prostitutes accidentally meet (meat?) their fates in the presence of the three lovable losers, the nitwits get an idea to kick their new recipe up a notch…and the citizens of New York City are about to becoming unwilling cannibals due to the devilish, taste-pleasing get-rich-quick scheme. Starring Shawn James, Jack Gust, Fergal Titley, Marcus Troy, Loretta Vendetta, Marisa Rose and Matt Nagin, Balls for Brooklyn is an imperfect piece of film about the Prince of Fruit and his ultimate downfall.

In the last few years, Vince Brando has been killing it putting together segments for news stations around the East Coast. Of course, I’ll always know him for creating the award winning short film, Zombie Bohemia. Vince has built a small name for himself as a writer, director and editor, and Balls for Brooklyn sees him juggling all three hats to a large margin of success. His latest release is an independent picture, that’s for sure, and being that Horror Society was founded on support for such films, I can’t condemn Balls for Brooklyn for not being a video that’s destined to bring in millions of views on YouTube. Sure, the audio in certain scenes needed a lot more work and the camera work is a little unfocused at times, but that’s generally my only complaints. It’s far from terrible and I’ve definitely seen a lot worse. With that said, I don’t think this short film’s audience is going to mind the little blips in production. With a little bit of nudity, a little bit of gore, and dirty humor splashed between zanney lines of dialogue, Balls for Brooklyn becomes as grungy and gross as the streets of New York. It’s almost underground and grindhouse.

Balls for Brooklyn starts with a too-long sequence seeing the lead, Phil, taking a shit all over the food service industry…literally. He’s done pleasing other employers and his father. Then, he runs into his best friend and an old acquaintance who hire prostitutes to stroke their entrepreneur bones, only for the women to end up on the chopping block. Destroying their bodies by putting them through a meat grinder, the three cooks mold the human meat into meatballs and sell them to, of all else, the police officers who protect the city. Despite the lousy presentation and marketing plan, the police officers bring business to the start-up company, without knowing their eating human remains. As the business grows, so does the demand for delicious meatballs, meaning they’re going to need more bodies for the grinder! Balls for Brooklyn is an independent short film for anyone who’s worked a mundane job and dreamed of getting rich as their own boss. It’s drug fueled and crazy and, oh yes, just as relate-able as any other picture. Balls for Brooklyn was produced and co-edited by Crystal Hunkin and sees cinematography from Chris Magdalenski.

I’ll be sure to give a proper update for this film when the time comes for its official release. It’ll be best enjoyed with a few beers and that one friend that makes you question, “am I safe right now?” Place your order at Balls for Brooklyn this Winter and get a taste of one of the most out there projects on this side of the city. More gore, please. Final Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)