Short Film, Short Review: LATE LUNCH Offers Up A Charming Picnic Basket Of Dark Comedic Delights

Ben Umstead, East Coast Editor
Often in film, whether short or feature, we're presented with a moral fable, a lesson and a warning to show us just how wrong humanity can be, just how vile and terrible someone can get. The naughty mustn't go unpunished as it were.

Well, that's not the case with Late Lunch, the first production from a twisted duo of upstarts calling themselves Hobbes Hedley and Hedley Harlan (working under the aptly named Hedley Productions). Clearly the directing duo suckle at the teet of the lowliest of C-movies, pulp horror, underground comedy and ancient TV schlock.

The plot reads like a classic Twilight Zone scenario. Consider if you will, the life of Malcolm Barrow (Charlie Sloin), a successful criminal defense lawyer whose one dream is to retire with a big fat cigar in one hand and a nice 64-year scotch in the other. Meet his wife Doris (Edwina Anderson), a bright-eyed, fairy tale do-gooder of a lady, always finding a new charity to give to. Malcolm can't stand his wife's generosity, and when she wastes that bottle of primo senior scotch on her good Samaritan pals, Malcolm has had enough.

Why spoil the dastardly twist of a short film in the review? Well I won't, but for the keen folks, it's right there in the title. As it is, Late Lunch is a delightfully weird concoction of genre that feels more alive, able and charming in Shira Zimbeck's script and Charlie Sloin's gleefully boyish performance over its often uneven production values. So while it is a film that is rather rough around the edges, it goes a long way in winning us over with its sinister comedic drag that's as springtime fresh as the Easter Bunny and as dark as one of them EC comics (preferably read under the bedsheets during a thunderstorm) -- indeed a promising sign from a first short. 

Late Lunch is ramping up for a festival run with its world premiere happening this weekend at the Bloody Hero International Film Festival in Phoenix, Arizona. If you happen to be in ol' PHX, click here for more info on the fest. To keep an eye on the film, head on over to their tumblr or Facebook.               
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