Director – Sam Hodge (Twelve Pole, Glam)
Starring – Travis Robinson (Glam, Twelve Pole), James Edward Holley, and Johnna Vaughn
Release Date – 2020
Rating – 3.5/5
The last few days I’ve spent all my time working through some of the Hammer Dracula blus that was sent my way to review from Warner Brothers and Scream Factory. I’ve really been enjoying myself but to not over do it I decided to break up my marathon with some indie productions.
A few days ago West Virginia director Sam Hodge, the man behind the short Glam and Wild Eye’s Twelve Pole, reached out to me about his newest short Conversation with the Devil. I love seeing inspired minds from my home state and when a WV filmmaker reaches out to me to review a film I always try to make time for it. Once again Hodge and company deliver a solid short that is well worth your time.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows William (Holley) who is a down on his luck blue collar man. His wife has been cheating on him for sometime and he doesn’t feel like a man anymore. While drinking and warming himself by the fire he is contemplating suicide when a stranger approaches him. Williams doesn’t seem to know the man but the stranger knows William all too well. The two talk it over and the stranger reveals even more secrets that William’s wife was hiding from him. After a few moments the stranger convinces him that the world would be better off without him and William shoots himself.**Spoiler Alert**
Shorts, especially ones running less than 20 minutes, can be very effective pieces of cinema. They often cram so much punch into such a small package (no penis jokes, please). Conversations with the Devil uses it’s running time wisely and delivers a solid short.
The acting in this one is great. James Edward Holley is great in his role. He really plays with the viewers emotion and in just a few minutes you start to really feel for the man. Such a great performance from a man who I can’t find any other acting credits for on imdb. With that being said, Travis Robinson is fantastic. He was one of the better performances in Twelve Pole and the he delivers another great performance in this one. I’m always shocked when I visit his imdb page and only see the few credits to his name. You indie directors need to be contacting his man.
The story for this one is short, sweet, and to the point. So many feature length films throw bullshit at the viewer just to reach the films hour and a half running time. Shorts by pass all that and give the viewer the good parts as quick as possible. Conversation is simple but it really works on a dark drama level. The emotional level is there and then the film ends with a bang. However, if the short was any longer the story would not have worked. It was spread pretty evenly in this one but if Hodge would have added much more to it the story would have been spread too thin and the film would have lost it’s impact.
Finally, if you are looking for a bloody flick then you will be disappointed. The film is a character piece mostly but we do get a little splatter at the end of the film. Overall, Conversation with the Devil is a well made and acted short that will leave the viewer feeling emotionally drained. I highly suggest checking this one out whenever you get the chance! Hodge did a fantastic job and has showed that he has grown as a filmmaker since his last film.