Red 71

Like a fatally deconstructed David Lynch film, "Red 71," Patrick Roddy's sophomore directorial outing, lays out the pieces of a highly stylized noir puzzle with maddening deliberation and total lack of humor.

With:
With: Nathan Ginn, Michelle Belegrin, Ted Parks, Josh Marcantel, Angus Scrimm.

Like a fatally deconstructed David Lynch film, “Red 71,” Patrick Roddy’s sophomore directorial outing, lays out the pieces of a highly stylized noir puzzle with maddening deliberation and total lack of humor. Stretched thin at 71 minutes, pic leans heavily on enigmatic atmospherics as a fat gumshoe, assorted lowlifes, cops and a femme fatale are collectively freeze-dried in an iconic shorthand that leaves character and action falling by the wayside. Flashy, defiantly low-budget indie, which opened July 25 at Gotham’s Two Boots Pioneer, makes a great trailer but fails to add up to a movie.

In the middle of Nowhere, Ariz., in a telescoped timeframe that incorporates ’60s cars and ’40s dress, various characters gather at the titular Red 71 Club, constellating around femme fatale Lorain (Michelle Belegrin). Chief among these is Lorain’s friend Shane (Nathan Ginn), a self-styled detective whose girth is as expansive as his speech is meager. When Lorain’s husband, Charley (Ted Parks), is murdered, it signals the start of one long night of rubouts involving local lushes, two-timing boyfriends and trigger-happy mobsters.

“Red” boasts startling if derivative, flatly lit, color-saturated cinematography by helmer Roddy. Characters are wont to suddenly materialize out of pitch-blackness and disappear back into same. Low-angle shots of the corpulent hero behind the wheel of his Cadillac, tooling down a desert highway, promise a hell of a ride. But even the excellent, Angelo Badalamenti-channeled score by Friends of Dean Martinez cannot impart rhythm and momentum to an uninflected series of tableaux.

Thesping is uneven, sleazy second-stringers and role-playing gangsters faring far better than the leads, who are stuck delivering ponderous deadpan monosyllables and striking ennui-oozing poses.

Pic’s centerpiece, a Lynchian retelling of the primal scene in “The Big Sleep” (various suspects in cars pulling away from a flash-signaled murder, a drugged woman left holding the bag) compounds the surreal, arbitrary nature of the plot while setting up the pic’s final ironic/creepy twist. But by then, the viewer couldn’t care less.

Tech credits are ambitious. Carol Anne Gayle’s production design manages to erase all time-specific vestiges from the monochromatically skewed decor. But the artificial distressing of the image seems gimmicky, and the sound quality is not clear enough to support Jason Canfield’s experimentations in audio distortion.

Red 71

Production: A Red 71 production, in association with Amateur Prods., Golden Gorilla Films. Produced by Brian McLaughlin, Patrick Roddy, Victoria Westover. Directed by Patrick Roddy. Screenplay, Ken Henderson, from a short story by Patrick Cain.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Roddy; editor, Andy Froemke; music, Friends of Dan Martinez; production designer, Carol Anne Gayle; sound designer, Jason Canfield. Reviewed on DVD, New York, July 22, 2008. Running time: 71 MIN.

With: With: Nathan Ginn, Michelle Belegrin, Ted Parks, Josh Marcantel, Angus Scrimm.

More Film

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    Box Office: 'Equalizer 2' Narrowly Edges Past 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' to Land at No. 1

    Like a fatally deconstructed David Lynch film, “Red 71,” Patrick Roddy’s sophomore directorial outing, lays out the pieces of a highly stylized noir puzzle with maddening deliberation and total lack of humor. Stretched thin at 71 minutes, pic leans heavily on enigmatic atmospherics as a fat gumshoe, assorted lowlifes, cops and a femme fatale are […]

  • Durban FilmMart Celebrates Women as Industry

    Durban FilmMart Celebrates Women as Industry Still Struggles With Transformation

    Like a fatally deconstructed David Lynch film, “Red 71,” Patrick Roddy’s sophomore directorial outing, lays out the pieces of a highly stylized noir puzzle with maddening deliberation and total lack of humor. Stretched thin at 71 minutes, pic leans heavily on enigmatic atmospherics as a fat gumshoe, assorted lowlifes, cops and a femme fatale are […]

  • MayFair, directed by Sara Blecher

    Sara Blecher’s ‘Mayfair’ Brings Feminine Gaze to Gangster Tale

    Like a fatally deconstructed David Lynch film, “Red 71,” Patrick Roddy’s sophomore directorial outing, lays out the pieces of a highly stylized noir puzzle with maddening deliberation and total lack of humor. Stretched thin at 71 minutes, pic leans heavily on enigmatic atmospherics as a fat gumshoe, assorted lowlifes, cops and a femme fatale are […]

  • Todd Brown, XYZ Films

    African Finance Under Spotlight at Durban FilmMart  

    Like a fatally deconstructed David Lynch film, “Red 71,” Patrick Roddy’s sophomore directorial outing, lays out the pieces of a highly stylized noir puzzle with maddening deliberation and total lack of humor. Stretched thin at 71 minutes, pic leans heavily on enigmatic atmospherics as a fat gumshoe, assorted lowlifes, cops and a femme fatale are […]

  • Ryan Reynolds'Deadpool' panel, Comic-Con International, San

    Ryan Reynolds Wants to Explore Deadpool's Bisexuality in Future Films

    Like a fatally deconstructed David Lynch film, “Red 71,” Patrick Roddy’s sophomore directorial outing, lays out the pieces of a highly stylized noir puzzle with maddening deliberation and total lack of humor. Stretched thin at 71 minutes, pic leans heavily on enigmatic atmospherics as a fat gumshoe, assorted lowlifes, cops and a femme fatale are […]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9243328q)From

    Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Restaurant Critic, Dies at 57

    Like a fatally deconstructed David Lynch film, “Red 71,” Patrick Roddy’s sophomore directorial outing, lays out the pieces of a highly stylized noir puzzle with maddening deliberation and total lack of humor. Stretched thin at 71 minutes, pic leans heavily on enigmatic atmospherics as a fat gumshoe, assorted lowlifes, cops and a femme fatale are […]

  • Johnny Depp Amber Heard

    Johnny Depp, Amber Heard Appear Moments Apart at WB's Comic-Con Panel

    Like a fatally deconstructed David Lynch film, “Red 71,” Patrick Roddy’s sophomore directorial outing, lays out the pieces of a highly stylized noir puzzle with maddening deliberation and total lack of humor. Stretched thin at 71 minutes, pic leans heavily on enigmatic atmospherics as a fat gumshoe, assorted lowlifes, cops and a femme fatale are […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content