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Review: Ron Purtee’s “For Sale”

Independent film-maker Ron Purtee returns with a new short film titled For Sale. Many horror fans know him as the mind behind Social Media Massacre, and I honestly haven’t seen anything from him since Becoming Undead. With For Sale, Ron is hoping to get his name out there by making a splash with a new product that’s more polished and professional than any of his previous releases. You know what they say, sometimes taking a break or a step back makes you re-evaluate your future; and in this case, the future looks bright for RonCo Productions. Filmed in association with Doghouse Entertainment and Kine Critical Productions, For Sale sees a young man, Rick, as he stumbles into an empty bar late one night, only for the bartender to change his world…and his life. Written and directed by Ron Purtee, For Sale stars Deann Baker and Jonathan Wachala. It was produced by Christopher Kai House, Michael Thomas Determan and Purtee; and features cinematography from Determan and editing from David M. Haight. It’s a Christmas themed horror-drama releasing in July, and here’s my review of it having gotten the chance to see it first!

To address some things I’ve already mentioned… For Sale is a Christmas themed short film, but it’s not in your face with festivity. The decorations in the back of the bar is the only real indication that For Sale takes place in December. And as far as the horror-drama genre goes, For Sale is more drama than horror. Knowing what I did about Purtee’s preferred genre, I was waiting for something more horrific to take place, although the title of the film certainly makes sense knowing what I do about the plot. Same with barbers/hair stylists, your bartender inadvertently becomes your therapist when you’re lucky enough to get them to yourself. You drink your problems away and maybe the bartender will offer you advice. As you’ll see in For Sale, the bartender gets a little too deep and when the pain of the past begins to be too much, what will Rick offer to end his sorrow? In this case, the creepy presence lurking inside the bartender is as “horrific” as this one gets.

But, hey, For Sale could also be a hallucination inside the main character’s head. Is the bartender really a spawn from Hell with a grudge and psychic abilities or is Rick seeing things because he’s too drunk? That’ll be for you to decide when For Sale releases in July.

Compared to his previous work, yes, For Sale is the best picture Ron’s produced. It has above-average picture quality for independent standards, the editing is cleaner, the angles are more daring and it’s all wrapped up in an atmosphere that’s cohesive to the world Ron wanted to create. Deann Baker and Jonathan Wachala delivered worthwhile performances here, and establish themselves as “go to” actors in the state that Ron calls home. There’s only two criticisms I have here. One, the audio still needs a touch of work. Two, this short film is 6.5 minutes long and about half of that is dedicated to closing credits. Working in that time-frame, more effort could have been put into defining the genre more and giving the audience something more to sink their teeth into. Still, I think For Sale could enter a few film festivals and do well. That should always be the end goal for independent film-makers: make sure the film gets eyeballs on it. When For Sale is released to festivals or online platforms, I want everyone to know it is HorrorSociety approved. Well done Ron & team. Final Score: 7 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)