Many of the people in our lives are unique beings that we come across and connect with for a variety of reasons. We go through each stage of friendship by communicating, making commitments, sharing secrets, making mistakes and building a bridge of trust. Some friends may last a lifetime, many will not, as each moment, hour, day and year shows us the real person we have committed to. For writer, director, producer and actor, Zach Noe Towers, his debut short film “Killer Friends” is a bag of crazy with a dark heart and reality that we can all connect to.
Taking a simple narrative premise of an annoying and flamboyant friend who feels he can be as honest yet a complete and total jerk, Towers creates a short dark comedy that has something for everyone. The story of “Killer Friends” takes place within the outdoors as a quartet of friends are set for a camping trip. As they wait for the obnoxious Scott, his roommates Jill (Jenna-Lee Carreiro), Bryan (Dave Racki) and maybe girlfriend Heather (Peggy Sinnott) all wait for him in the car plotting to kill him during their getaway. As with any great comic premise, nothing goes at all as it seems and things thought buried are unearthed which is even more emphasized with the well placed elements of horror. As the quartet arrive at the site (in the middle of nowhere), each aspect of the plan to kill Scott seems to take a left turn as the viewer laughs, cringes and understands that you can’t stop the wicked! Within the eleven-minute running time, we see the attempts made, mistakes happening and the buildup of doubt and tension that fades away to madness.
This short film was successfully funded on IndieGoGo and was well executed overall with the total pieces as effective as the sum. This being Towers first short film, his body of acting in other genres definitely prepared him to execute this project on every level. For me, I loved the makeup application (Christina Chapman) for Jill as it was simple but effectively comedic and took me back to the classic days of silent films. I felt the editing (Morgan Pritchard) was tight and was definitely the foundation that supported the casts performances as well as the timed dialogue, reaction and body language across the board. All four actors had an incredible ability to react believable and a chemistry that either came from the right casting and/or a true bond between the cast that allowed them to be free, honest, funny and fiendish. Even the aspect of weight jokes from Scott to Heather were fitting with incredible volley being fueled for the rest of the cast by Towers performance. As I laughed, I just wanted to choke Scott and my feelings help me to remember my past experiences like this and help build that connection for the viewer to understand why with very little exposition to spark it. Overall, “Killer Friends” was a very smart execution of the overall story with a conclusion that contained a wink to the 1980’s killer in the woods sub-genre. To find out more about “Killer Friends” check out their Facebook page www.facebook.com/killerfriends and twitter @ZachNoeTowers.