Indie Spotlight is a series focusing on reviews of independent films
From director Adam Mason comes the dark comedy Junkie. Danny (Daniel Louis Rivas) is a recovering drug addict living in his parent’s old house with his psychotic brother Nicky (Robert LaSardo). Even though Danny is desperate to get clean, the bad influence of Nicky is enough to keep Danny on the drugs. Over the course of one crazy day, Danny has to face his demons through encounters with his drug dealer Otto (Tomas Boykin), ex-girlfriend Sonja (Tess Panzer), and his perverted father (Andrew Howard).
It goes without saying that Junkie is a weird film that is definitely not for everyone. The centrepiece of the film was undoubtedly the character of Nicky, who is simultaneously one of the nicest and most utterly psychotic characters in the film. Nicky’s somewhat goofy behaviour throughout the film really contrasts with his heavily tattooed appearance, since you would expect such a character to have a bit more of an edge to him. That’s not to say that Nicky does not go to dark places in the film, he just seems to be having a lot of fun while doing so.
I thought the film was best when it was merely the interactions between Danny, who desperately wants to become clean, and Nicky, who desperately wants a hit. Without saying too much, there is a certain aspect of Danny and Nicky’s relationship, which quickly comes to light and adds insight to the overall structure of the film. I particularly liked Nicky telling Danny a supposedly touching story about an ex-girlfriend of his.
I thought that the film wasn’t as entertaining once other people began to enter the picture, particularly Danny’s father, who comes to visit along with his new prostitute of a wife. This character is so sleazy and unlikeable that he just took all the fun out of the film for me. He is a blatant caricature and his arrival marks the moment the film hits its low point. Thankfully, the film recovers somewhat towards the end and I somewhat liked how the story of the film concludes.
Overall, I have to admit that Junkie wasn’t entirely my cup of tea. I thought the film was strongest in the first half, before faltering a bit in the second. That said, I did like the straight man/funny man chemistry between Danny and Nicky and, like I said previously, the film is at its best when its merely the interactions between the two. If you like weird, very dark, comedies, why don’t you give Junkie a watch?
6 | WATCHABLE
Junkie can be acquired from the following sources:
- Indiecan Entertainment – DVD and Blu-Ray