Saturday, January 25, 2014

Quite a Conundrum

Director - Thomas L. Phillips
Writer - Thomas L. Phillips
Stars: Sasha Ramos, Emily Rogers, Joe Coffey
Comedy - Horror - Thriller
5 Out of 5

Click here to see the red band trailer.

Kylene's (Emily Rogers) parents will be out of the house for the night and her big sister Mimi and her best friend Tabitha (Erin Cline) have invited a couple of guys over for a party. Mimi (Sasha Ramos) permits Kylene to invite her boyfriend Harris (Anthony Rutowicz) over as well. There will be alcoholic beverages, music, fun in the pool and whatever comes naturally. 

Tabitha's boyfriend Sean (Chris Greene) arrives with Dutch (Joe Coffey) a guy he is bringing for Mimi. Two guys looking to score and have a good time with two hot consenting women. Tabitha convinces Mimi to give Dutch a chance and Kylene's boyfriend Harris arrives after being dropped off by his holier than thou mother Thelma (Catherine Trail) who was on her way to play "Jesus Bingo". All the guests have arrived and the meet and greet commences and into the pool they go. Hanging out and having a good time. Perfect. What could possibly go wrong?

A man from Mimi's recent past arrives and throws a kink into the pool that no one saw coming. The party comes to a halt and the guests are thrown into a panic about what to do and to make matters worse another surprise walks into their party with damnation on their mind and things take a nose dive into mayhem and terror. "Quite a conundrum" indeed.

I have had this film for some time and just couldn't seem to get my words together until about the thirteenth viewing, I said, I have got to write this review. I absolutely FREAKING LOVE this film. The casting of these actors and actresses is a dream team that worked beautifully together. I am familiar with Erin Cline from the short-film, Date Night directed by Jason  Fragale. When I saw that she was playing Tabitha, I knew I was in for a treat. Joe Coffey who played Mimi's mystery date is also another familiar face having seen him in another short-film directed by Jason Fragale, The Guy Knows Everything. Coffey as Dutch was no surprise to this reviewer but his role was used as a twist to the plot of Quite a Conundrum and I enjoyed seeing his character change before my eyes. Erin and Joe were my favorite characters, but not the only ones giving a fine performance.

Sasha Ramos played the spoiled and promiscuous Mimi. Mimi is in her twenties living at home while her father pays for her college education. She is beautiful, vivacious and has terrible judgment in sexual partners. To find out how terrible, you must see her performance in Quite a Conundrum. It is because of sexual explorations that the party she and girlfriend Tabitha threw turned into one disaster after another. At one point in this film, I actually felt sympathy for Mimi. Sasha was playful, serious and through it all there was strength about her character that pushed onward. I enjoyed her performance.

Emily Rogers was Mimi's eighteen year old sexually confused sister Kylene.  Kylene invited her boyfriend Harris to the party but it as time passed it became perfectly clear she was more interested in someone else and who that person was left poor Harris baffled and equally as frustrated. Emily had a crazy roller coaster ride type character. Highly emotional. She was uncertain about her feelings for her boyfriend, while feeling something for another and then witness to the downfall of the party and all the upset that went along with it. Emily was fun, deep and pulled it off nicely. 

Anthony Rutowicz as Harris was a trip. Harris was invited by the love of his life Kylene and he had one thing on his mind, too bad fate had other plans for him. He was partying with the big boys and girls and got smashed on alcohol and begged his way into seeing a quick boob flash by one of the older girls. The heartbreak came when Kylene broke his heart and oh my, did fate have a wicked twist of fate for Harris. 

Catherine Trail as Thelma was a hoot. She was the epitome of the over the top goodie-two shoes Christian mother that just oozed comedy and religious zealot. But if you listen closely some her comments are off the cuff and from "pure" thoughts of the religion she professes to love. I loved Catherin as  Thelma, though her character's time was brief in her scenes, she was quite the comical character. She was one that was so sweet that one could feel the cavity growing in their tooth. 

Chris Greene as Sean came across as a womanizing jerk only after sex. His purpose introducing Dutch to Mimi was not something a good friend would do, no, he wanted to help Dutch hook-up instead of letting the man and woman get to know one another. A fast fix for a good time was his motive. When the party turned upside down, Sean had one thing on his mind...getting the hell out of there. Being a viewer of the predicament, I can't say that I much blame him for wanting to get away. 

Quite a Conundrum was written and directed by Thomas L. Phillips and I must congratulate this man on creating a funny, disturbing, dark comedy that is a highly twisted work of art. Never at one moment was I bored or not entertained. The story pacing was great, it didn't over extend itself meaning it started and lasted an adequate amount of time. It wasn't a convoluted mess. It made since and hooked me and kept me on the edge of my seat with this tongue in cheek madness unfolding on the screen. This is my first time viewing Phillips and I hope that it is not my last. Originality is something I look for and found it in this film.

Film festivals will love QAC as it has already been in many and cleaned up on awards. It should do quite well in sales once it is released on DVD. Bloggers were all over this film in 2013 and the film is still going strong in 2014. I highly recommend seeing Quite a Conundrum,  you will laugh your ass off and gasp in all the right places and hopefully learn that anything that can go wrong most certainly will when you least expect it.  The perfect party became the perfect disaster and led me to give it 5 out of 5. Congratulations on your 2013 successes Thomas and cheers onward with many more in 2014 and beyond.

Look for the film's Facebook Page and give it a like for originality and good film-making.

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