Ashley Dinescu - Rachel
Zack Matzganis - Ricky
Ashton Moraski - Caitlin
Siko Mike - Frank
Chris Yeatts - Todd
Jake Lief - Jeff
Brent Basham - Justin
Genre - Horror/Revenge
Running Time - 15 Minutes
Score - 3 Howls Outta 4
PLOT - BLIND DATE is a short film about fraternities, rape, and the victims who want revenge through murder. Some fucked up fraternity are having a great time at some party one night, where asshole Frank (Siko Mike) figures he wants to up the ante by seducing some innocent girl into a night of terror. Unfortunately for Caitlin (Ashton Moraski), she seems to be the object of Frank's obsession. Due to her naivety, she starts falling for Frank, who takes advantage of this by slipping her the date rape drug. Frank brings Caitlin to a room, where he and a buddy begin to forcefully have their way with her. Didn't these guys watch THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT or I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE? Idiots.
Anyway, a year passes and some pledge named Ricky (Zack Matzganis) doesn't really appear to be a perfect fit for the fraternity or Frank's ideas of what a frat should be like. For example, Ricky seems interested in only one girl [who he talks to on the internet] and tries to ignore Frank's urgings that he needs to share his time [and his penis] with more than some girl who's he's never met. What Frank doesn't know is that Ricky harbors a secret that could bite Frank and his frat in the ass soon enough.
STORY - BLIND DATE was first written as a short story by Siko Mike that described the horrors of frat life and how it could affect not only the men involved with the frat, but the women who get seduced by its members. The rape scene is set up perfectly fine for a 15 minute film, as we are able to critique on the members of the frat and how they have learned nothing from their actions a year later. It's not brutal or even that violent of a scene. But just the little things, like the use of a drug and the slow burn into the room before the actual act itself are powerful enough to grab your attention.
The characters are pretty well developed for a short film. Frank is obviously the antagonist of the piece and we pretty much see things through his point of view. The guy is a jerk and a pig [to the point where I believe he originated swine flu]. He preys on those weaker than him - both men and especially women - and feeds his insecurities by taking advantage of them in ways that will benefit his idea of "morality". To see him get his payback is satisfying.
I also liked the Ricky character, as you can relate to him. He just wants to be his own man and wants to be faithful to a girl he's never met. Unfortunately, his 'good guy' ways can't stop the journey Frank has already put him on, making him as much of a victim as Caitlin.
I do have issues with the ending of the film though, as it's confusing and a head-scratcher. It's supposed to be one of those twist endings that makes you see what's really going on here, but it did nothing for me. I think it would work a lot better for a full-length feature, as there would be more time to build into it. But for a short film, it doesn't succeed. I did get it after a couple of more viewings, but by then the effectiveness is pretty much gone.
DIRECTION - Siko Mike directs his second short film here and it's just as good as the first one, being MIDNIGHT SILENCE. The pacing is strong. The lighting and editing could be a bit better but they're minor issues. I also liked the tension during some of the more 'horror' scenes. For a small budget, Siko Mike did more than a nice job.
VIOLENCE/SEX/LANGUAGE [aka THE GOOD STUFF] - For a horror film, it's not all that violent really. Sure the rape scene and some of the murder sequences could be considered violent, but we don't really see them on screen. Just the before and the after. I'm sure this has to do with budget restraints more than anything, so I can let that slide. But for a revenge flick, I wanted to see more revenge. Definitely needed the death scenes in this one. The sex is pretty tame [we don't see the rape scene - it's only implied]. And there is some cussing in the film but nothing to write home about.
ACTING - I liked the acting here. Sure, some of them stumbled their lines and that usually annoys me. But for some reason, I found it realistic. No one speaks perfectly in real life and the whole lack of 'perfect recital' added to the realism of the flick. I thought Siko Mike was very good as Frank. I didn't like that character one bit for all the right reasons. He reminds me why I never joined one of these frats [my criminal record would have expanded because of this dude]. Such a pompous ass of a character. Zack Matzganis was very likable as Ricky and I felt bad for Ashton Moraski as Caitlin. Nice acting for a low budget short film.
MUSIC - Pretty subtle until the death scenes would occur. Reminded me of your standard slasher score where the music would intensify once the real danger would appear. It added to the tension of the film and I liked it alot.
THE FINAL HOWL
BLIND DATE is a good short film that shows that you don't need a ton of cash to make a watchable flick. Sure it has its flaws but they don't take away too much from the actual experience. I would definitely like to see this expanded into a full-length feature, just for the ending really because it needs more time to clarify itself. 2 and 0 for Siko Mike.
You can watch this film at BLIND DATE.