Would I like to review a short film which is all Leave It To Beaver colliding with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? That would be a yes!…..
This film delivers and manages to provide such an innovative twist that I would strongly petition the cast and crew to write a Television series and use this as its pilot. I can’t remember the last time I said that! One of the things I love about Independent Films is their unwillingness to play it safe and always to create something that has never been seen before. The concept of an all American, chintzy family sitcom format, complete with laughter track, being violated by a sadistic cannibalistic flavour is an intriguing one. But its precisely this delightful hors d’oeuvres that is served to audiences of, the not Twitter friendly titled, Guess Who’s Not Coming To Breakfast, Lunch Or Dinner? To say that this is not playing it safe would be an understatement! It’s a bit like waggling your head in front of Leatherface’s whirling blade and shouting “come and get it if you think you’re hard enough” Too far into pastiche and the project plummets into an unfunny farcical nightmare of Repossessed proportions. The scripting and direction has got to steer a course so steady that the film is equally horrific and very funny to accentuate the genre extremes.
The Swanson family are Bubblehurst’s (giggle) picture perfect American family, its all immaculate mown lawns and over the top vomit inducing exuberance. Haven’t you watched this bubble gum flavoured drivel before and wondered whether there was something nasty lurking under the surface? I mean, surely no one can be that perfect can they? No they cant and The Swanson’s are mass murdering cannibalistic maniacs who cut up their guests and serve them as BBQ’d ribs and sausages for breakfast. Poor youngest son, Jimmy, is not towing The Swanson party line with this and has some sympathy with the poor unfortunate who is currently languishing in The Swanson Family Dungeon (I cant believe I just typed that).
Guess Who? has a sparkling cast that are so believable as the lunatic family it almost feels like a docu drama. Andrew Kines is wonderfully restrained and malevolent as ‘Dad’. All eyes are on Michelle D’Alessandro Hatt as the deliciously over the top Matriarch who sparkles with disemboweling glee. Her facial expressions transform from American MOM to sadistic killer so quickly it is both alluring and horrific at the same time. The production values and camera work are of the standard you can see on any main stream TV channel but with the cutting edge you can expect from an Indie short. Adam King’s assured and masterly direction guarantees that the film does not go off track and retains its pitch black satirical edge.
Guess Who? is magnificent and I want more, I want a TV series and I want it now!
Guess Who’s Not Coming To Breakfast, Lunch Or Dinner is currently showing at Film Festivals across America and I urge you to drop round for a bite! Just don’t eat the bread!