Amidst candlelit ambiance with wine and ice cream, an elderly man sits across a table from a younger woman—a beautiful blonde with bright eyes, luscious lips, a slender body, and…well…you get the idea—she’s enough to make men of all ages take notice. From the conversation, we’re not sure what the man is in for, but it mostly seems to be about sex…and blood. Yes, you read that right—sex and blood! As for blood, the blonde says she’ll be “gentle.” “Will it hurt?” the old man asks. “Of course!” she says. “How long will it last?” inquires the old man. “Well, that all depends on you…” the blonde answers. (Oh, but doesn’t it always?) 🙂
If we didn’t know this was a horror film—and I confess that I did—we’d be expecting a typical sadomasochistic May/September romance about right now. Yes, I did say “typical sadomasochistic romance,” because this one makes most others look typical—even the May/September type! How? Well, now if I told you, then I’d have to bite…I mean kill…I mean…. Oh forget it; just watch Easy Prey and see what the old man and the blonde really do, while on on a couch, with the blonde on top and…. Let’s just say that the blood-inducing act in Easy Prey is what puts the bite in this twisted tale of open-ended terror.
The open-endedness is one of the things I like about Easy Prey. We never really know exactly who (or what) the woman is. Is she just the token beautiful babe (aka hellacious hottie) in a horror film, draining a sex-starved older man of all he’s worth—and then some? Or, is she perhaps something else that really wants the blood as much as (or more than) she wants the money that the man likely doesn’t have so much of anyway? Who knows, but does it really matter? Easy Prey is a fun little, dark, tongue-in-cheek (or should I say teeth-in-neck) story, not to be taken too seriously, but certainly meant to be taken. Wait! Did I just say teeth in neck? Yes, I did.
Even if the “teeth-in-neck,” the blood, and everything else clue you in to anything that could be called a spoiler, don’t worry, there’s more to see–even in this short, five-minute film. Does the old man get what he wants, or is he just another old man taken for a ride, for more than he’s worth, by a super-hot, money-sucking babe—who just happens to be a blonde! Watch the film. I’ll leave that for your own sanguine sensitivity to surmise. (Try saying that three times fast!) 🙂
Pete Barker plays the part of Lucious—the suckered old man; he is vulnerable, uncertain, anxious to a fault, greedy, carnal, and generally unflattering to his gender. (Sound like anyone you know?) Of course, the whole stereotypic man profile fits the film’s purposes just perfectly, and Pete Barker plays it to perfection; he’s the ideal easy prey. Mackenzie Christine Hawkins is more than enough eye-candy in her role as…well…eye candy named Victoria! First, Christine needs to be young, sexy, and attractive—and she does that naturally, with no effort, unusual makeup, or special effects! She also needs to be manipulative and up to no good, yet still as cute and likeable as the girl next door. Christine does that skillfully, as an actress, with all the ironic innocence of a child. Her face glows with expression; she may be Victoria in the movie, but she reminds us all of someone we know. With Pete and Christine playing the parts, the old man and the blonde make prey of one another…easily!
Easy Prey is a short film directed by Jeremiah Kipp, who also directed the visually-stunning Crestfallen (also reviewed here on Space Jockey Reviews). Again, Kipp is teamed with Dominick Sivilli as director of photography. A trademark technique they use (or so I notice) is focus on otherwise insignificant objects, giving them significance, if only because we are made to think about them. In Easy Prey, there are the bare feet of the beautiful blonde, as she walks back and forth talking to her child on the phone—just as all moms do when they’re out with old men doing freaky things involving blood. Yeah, right! This femme fatale is one exception to the norm, for sure! It’s all in a day’s work, I guess…and all in the family tool! What is the importance of the feet? What significance do they have beyond what they really are? As they walk back and forth, posing for the camera, exercising up and down—maybe it’s more playful innocence, even more ironic after the bloody deed…maybe—or maybe it’s just a girl’s feet. William Carlos Williams, the famous poet, was once asked about the significance of the red wheelbarrow in his poem by the same name; many readers who had assigned it grand meanings (including spiritual significance) were surprised to hear, from Williams himself, that the red wheelbarrow was just indeed a red wheelbarrow—nothing more, and nothing less. As for what Kipp and Sivilli mean with their focus on the feet in Easy Prey is anyone’s guess. More important though is that it makes us think, and have fun in the process!
At first, I thought of reviewing Easy Prey with a serious, lofty, academic, and yes…somewhat stuffy tone, using words that are more often read than spoken. Then, I quickly said, “Hell no!” Easy Prey is a light-hearted, dark-spirited, humorous look at older men, younger women, money, blood, and sex. It’s a short film tour de force that bites hard, hangs on, and sucks you in. Easy Prey has the effect of being fun in the end, rather than leaving us with another moral dilemma to consider, weigh for a while, and soon forget. If I had to extract blood from this one, I’d say it’s about the folly of what people do to get what they want—a funny, surreal tale of over-the-top (albeit not beyond possible) circumstances. Wait! Did I just suck moral meaning from the vein of this tongue-in-cheek teaser, using a few semi-lofty words? One way or another, I sure had fun with the idea—as much as I had fun watching Easy Prey, that is! Have yourself some fun too, and watch it below! 🙂
Easy Prey was created in 2011 for the Tribecca VisionFest Film Festival’s annual 5×5 New York State of Mind Project—which provides five specially selected filmmakers with the opportunity to create a five-minute short film within a set of specific and challenging production guidelines. It was screened at Visionfest 2011.
Starring Mackenzie Christine Hawkins and Pete Barker, along with Celine & Noah Bassman, Directed by Jeremiah Kipp, Executive Producers: Bruno Derlin, Mark Doyle, and Frank Lewallen, Written by Tara Parian, Produced by Kim Cummings, Director of Photography: Dominick Sivilli, Special Effects Artist: Julie Langer
Visit Jeremiah Kipp’s Internet Movie Database page by clicking here.
Visit Dominick Sivilli’s Internet Movie Database page by clicking here.
Visit Mackenzie Christine Hawkins’ website at www.mackenziehawkins.com
Watch Easy Prey below! Double click on the movie to view it in full screen.