Left Hand Billy in the Second Solution Movie Review
Written by Ilan Sheady
Official Website: http://www.voduncurse.com/
Written and directed by Gabriele Zuccarini
2014, 26 minutes
Skyy John as Billy
Larry Eudini as Pete
Ivory Tiffin as Fran
Deanna Noe as Lillian
Reviewing any short film requires you to walk an extremely delicate line between information and spoilers. Knowing what you should and shouldn't talk about is a dance and in the case of Left Hand Billy in the Second Solution I can't tell you anything. If, gun to my head, I had to give you a synopsis, I'd say that deep in the middle of nowhere (Arizona) Fran's Motel has some colourful characters coming to check in, which I confess is vague but the reality is that after watching the entire 26 minutes of Left Hand Billy in the Second Solution (LHBITSS) I know only 2 things for certain; 26 minutes have passed and Kid Chilleen's Big Ass Steakhouse has a Karaoke night.
Like fragments of memories returning from the night before there is no clear order to the events that unfold and what IS revealed only leads to more questions. It's like David Lynch slipped me a rohypnol and I've woken up in a world with no exposition. Each character has a bizzare but unspoken background and the events that lead them to cross paths at Fran's Motel is as ambiguous as what those characters may do next. Thankfully, between all these jigsaw pieces we are treated to voodoo rituals, bodily dismemberments, undying love and murderous rock bands so this is far from being a subtle horror.
Written and directed by Gabriele Zuccarini, LHBITSS emulates a grindhouse style meaning the acting is varied in quality but forgivable, the special effects are obvious but enjoyable and the handling of lighting and audio recording sways in favour of the au natural. My only issue with LHBITSS is its cheap use of synthesised overexposure and film reel distress. It's become an over used gimmick ever since Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror and LHBITSS already felt like a grindhouse movie without having to put a big intrusive sign saying 'look at me, I'm a grindhouse film' across the screen (metaphorically). This is more of a pet peeve than a serious criticism. It's the equivalent of using a lens flare in a digital illustration. If you've never seen one used before you think it's the greatest idea since sliced bread but anybody with more experience knows to use it with care (if at all).
Left Hand Billy in the Second Solution is like a montage of deleted scenes from a movie that doesn't exist but that you really want to see. That's mainly because there hasn't been anything like this in a very long time. Whether a follow up film takes the form of a prequel, a sequel or runs parallel to the events of LHBITSS is irrelevant, as is the main protagonist, who could be Billy the voodoo priest (Skyy John), Pete the runaway with commitment issues (Larry Eudini), Fran the morbid motel owner (Ivory Tiffin) or the homicidal, hippy-hating hellions (played by 'scariest band in the world' Deadbolt). Any choice of character would make an entertaining feature length film so the question now is what will writer/director Gabriele Zuccarini do next? I could be wrong and this is purely a standalone short but if LHBITSS is a sign of things to come Gabriele could very well be the next Quentin Tarantino, but more daring and with more imagination.
Deadbolt really don't like hippies. Curiously, their mix of musical style (a combination of surf rock, goth, psychobiology and blues) has been lovingly referred to as Voodoobilly which HAS to be more than a coincidence.