Presented by; ‘The Gentleman Bastards & Push Start Films’. Dir; Dan Mathis. Starring; Ian Hamilton, Natalie O’Sullivan, John Kaler. NR. Color. 3 minutes.
What an odd little short this is. Certainly a mixed bag of good and bad, but no one could claim that “Lot 26” is un-original. You get what the filmmakers are going for, then the message gets lost, then it comes back around again.
My dear friend Lane Luper served as DP on this project which is how I heard word of it. Part of the 2020 RODE REEL Short Film Competition, the movie and its creators hope to get a shot at the ultimate $1 million-dollar cash prize. Look, I’m gonna vote for it because Luper is my boy. But this is my honest take purely as a critic. He knows I call ’em like I see ’em.
So the beginning scene between the married couple is completely flat. There is zero chemistry. I’m not talking boy meets a girl type of chemistry. The two leads simply do not work as a duo. Then you have the bombshell and a great piece of writing when the wifey yells “YOU HAVEN’T TOUCHED ME IN SIX MONTHS”! So hilarious and ironic to come out of nowhere. Love that moment.
At that point a party bus shows up in the middle of the desert and a lot of things go south. Bad editing, bad acting, bad plot design. The weird fat dude wearing a pink gas mask. Huh? Are you trying to go for recreating ‘The Gimp’ in Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction”? If so you really didn’t get that scene did you? Being weird is fine, but you need a point with thought behind it when you do so.
On the plus side, the idea of this bus full of insane “Mad Max” inspired people showing up Choachella style is brilliant. This dude is trying to save his marriage and she needs to, understandably, get her freak on. The climactic drug sequence is standard cheap cinematic’s showing what taking drugs is “actually like”. But it’s fun.
In the end, I have to give the filmmakers credit. “Lot 26” is an inventive piece, albeit imperfect. The last line, I’ll let you check that one out, is totally awesome. Definitely a solid short with filmmakers that have potential.