BAD VS WORSE
I’d like to thank Gus Trapani, director of the low-budget horror film “Bad Vs Worse” for sending me an online screener or the film before its official release date. “Bad Vs Worse” has an estimated budget of just $6,000! and this is Gus’s first full length feature. It’s a story about a young guy name Joey (played by Rick Rodgers). Things haven’t gone according to plan for Joey throughout his life and he has now found himself in deep trouble. He owes a debt that he can’t pay off. He enlists the help of his once close, but now estranged brother, Lenny (Stephen Velichko), along with a crazy Aussie mate named “C” (played by Myles Forster). Joey’s plan is to scope out a few houses in a wealthy suburb and then rob them to come up with the $5,000 he owes. What starts out as a simple plan is anything but ,when the trio encounters a deranged madman living in one of the houses.
Well like I said it’s a $6,000 production. It’s not a lot of money to make a full length feature with so I have to commend this first venture from Gus. It’s not all bad, there are some things to like about the film. It has pretty steady camera work for the most part and some wonderful bass driven score with some really jarring and loud sound effects throughout some of the more suspenseful scenes. I liked the intro credits they were something straight out of the 80’s, it was a cool throwback. I thought the acting was pretty solid considering the three main actors have very little experience. I was sold on the casting of the brothers because the actors Rick and Stephen do look similar in certain ways, so that was a good choice. The chemistry between the two worked really well too. The second half of the film has some impressive blood and gore (the scene with the chainsaw stands out to me), even though it was performed off-screen probably due to budget constraints.
Now for the issues, for one It’s hard for me to watch people from Australia act. It’s just not something I like to see. It’s not that it’s always bad I just don’t like it. The character of “C” which I can only think must be a reference to the fact that he drops 10-15 C bombs throughout the film, none of which really seem in context. I’m not one to snub my nose at profanity if it’s within the context of the story, I just didn’t think it was in this film. Myles saved face a little bit with the hilarious scene when he’s on the phone to his grandmother (haha), it’s at the worst possible time. I thought that gave him a human quality and was also a great random comedic moment. The main issues with the film are technical ones though. Such as the insanely inconsistent volume between dialogue and sound effects. I constantly found myself adjusting my speakers. There are also shadows and lighting inconsistencies, to the point that majority of the colours in the frame look washed out. There are also a few sloppy edits throughout the chase sequences.
I think the character’s motivations and development was realistic enough but these were all such difficult characters to relate too or sympathise with. Even when they find out there is more to the situation than meets the eye, it’s hard to get on board with them when you know what type of people they are. The film’s running time is a little long and the action takes a while too come around. With these types of films it’s also difficult not to write characters who make stupid decisions to progress the plot.
First of all, daytime robbery’s are not really a done thing. If you have half a brain you know that would increase your chances of being caught. For some strange reason no one ever see’s them, yet they come out of the house several times throughout the film. Then inside the house you wouldn’t have your phone on loud when your trying to evade a psycho or not be caught by the person you are robbing… I mean c’mon? it’s called silent. Yes, it supplied me with some laughs when Joey’s message tone went off, but still. To put a cherry on top of everything the cop (who is only referenced once early in the film and doesn’t appear to have any connection to anything), rocks up at the house that the “final fight” is taking place in, what are the chances of that, I mean that’s far-fetched even for me.
This is a modest effort from Gus. It reminded me very much of an unpolished lower budget version of “The Collector”. I appreciate getting to see the film and overall I thought with such a miniscule budget and the lack of experience he still did a solid job. I commend everyone involved in this, it’s not an easy thing to do. Putting your work out there for everyone to look at and critique, it’s a tough business. I’m looking forward to seeing changes and improvements in what Gus does next. Please support low-budget horror films and if you like the film “The Collector” maybe there is something here for you!
My rating for “Bad vs Worse” is 4.5/10