Random Acts of Violence

The abysmal trend of Tarantino wannabes would seem to be over, but it reaches a new low with the dreadful "Random Acts of Violence," unspooling in shoddy vid copy in midnight screening at Dances With Films fest. Hypocritically pitching moral message while stooping to shock-treatment violence, tyro filmmakers Drew Bell and Jefferson Langley expose a disturbing lack of judgment on levels both thematic and technical. Unworthy for even those fests desperate to fill a sked slot, "Random Acts" will be quickly put out of its misery.

The abysmal trend of Tarantino wannabes would seem to be over, but it reaches a new low with the dreadful “Random Acts of Violence,” unspooling in shoddy vid copy in midnight screening at Dances With Films fest. Hypocritically pitching moral message while stooping to shock-treatment violence, tyro filmmakers Drew Bell and Jefferson Langley expose a disturbing lack of judgment on levels both thematic and technical. Unworthy for even those fests desperate to fill a sked slot, “Random Acts” will be quickly put out of its misery.

Wet-behind-ears Chris (Esteban Powell) is new to both UCLA and L.A.’s night life, and he’s quickly sent down the rabbit hole of thrill-seeking by a fast, young, upscale crowd led by coke-snorting Neil (A.J. Buckley). Punctuated by random scenes of bad improv and botched post–“Pulp Fiction” comedy, scenario takes Chris to a predictable bloody end, capped with a sequence of point-blank killing of bikini-clad women that borders on pornography. Porn style also applies to most of amateurish camerawork, though brief stream-of-consciousness montages hint at pic that could have been. Young thesps would be wise to keep this one off their resumes.

Random Acts of Violence

(DRAMA)

Production: A Gutter Brothers production. Produced by Drew Bell, Jefferson Langley, Esteban Powell, Alex Solowitz. Executive producer, Jeff Solowitz. Directed, written by Drew Bell, Jefferson Langley. Camera (color), Warren Yeager; editor, Ron Francis Cobert; music, Djemel Chergui. Reviewed at Dances With Films Festival of the Unknowns (noncompeting), Santa Monica, July 23, 1999. Running time: 80 MIN.

With: With: Esteban Powell, A.J. Buckley, Alex Solowitz, Brian Klugman, Rainbow Borden, Dave Ruby.

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