Radio may be theater of the mind, but the mind that attempts to wreak midnight havoc in a rock radio station in the featurette “Captive Audience” is nowhere near as terrifying or disturbing as helmers Mike Gioscia and Kurt St. Thomas intend. With a dissipating payoff after a compelling setup, this chamber thriller has enjoyed a modest fest run, but even with heavy rock referencing it’s a bit too rough around the edges for MTV or VH1 cable play.
Cool, cynical DJ Jack the Ripper (Michael Kevin Walker) holds down the overnight shift at FM outlet 99 Rock in, of all places, Woodstock, N.Y., but his steady routine is rocked and rolled by gun-toting intruder Howard (Daniel Haas). Initial shock quickly wears off as Howard takes his time explaining why he’s taking a harmless DJ hostage. Gioscia nicely reveals a burned-out radio hack with a sad backstory, but poorly cast Haas can’t convey Howard’s deep inner disturbances. B&W lensing is rewarding to see in this color-saturated era, though pic’s crucial audio element is hampered by the 16mm format.