A Bad Luck Guy in a Bad Luck Town

Rated: Not Rated

               Despite the fact that I see plenty of recent movies when they’re in theaters or when they first come out on DVD, I’m drawn to older films. Before my car accident a few years ago, most of what I’d watch were movies that hadn’t been out for more than a year or two. I just didn’t really have time for the classics, or really know about very many of them, (with the exception of titles like Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, The Birds and the like). After the accident I found myself with too much time on my hands. I decided to fill that time with two things, crocheting and movies. But with the prices at Blockbuster (I did say this was a few years ago!) going through the roof, and me newly out of work, I needed somewhere cheaper to keep a steady stream of films flowing in and out of my DVD player. That’s where my local library came in. I went in for crochet books and discovered that they have a TON of movies to borrow, all for free! They also carry a vast store of the classics, both the famous ones and ones you’ve never heard of. And so it began. I started with Casablanca and Gone With the Wind and have since expanded my classic film horizons to include more films than I can name.

A Bad Luck Guy... Promotional Poster (Photo courtesy of Justine Gendron)

A Bad Luck Guy... Promotional Poster (Photo courtesy of Justine Gendron)

        In watching so many movies in a fairly short period of time one thing became very clear to me; that as far as movies go, most of my favorites are considered noir. The Maltese Falcon, Laura, Sunset Boulevard and even more recent titles such as Sin City, L.A. Confidential and The Man Who Wasn’t There are films that I can easily watch over and over again. Part of the draw is all of the one-liners, part of it’s the nostalgic, sexy feel, and part of it’s the way they’re written. For all of these reasons, and more, noir films are almost always at the top of my list.
        So in late October, 2015, when the Twitter account for
A Bad Luck Guy in a Bad Luck Town, @ABadLuckGuy ,contacted me, asking me to come to SNOB Fest and check out their short film noir, I couldn’t say no. I watched the trailer for the film on Vimeo and was even more enticed. It showed a hitman for hire having the worst day of his life, all attributed to bad luck; but what, or who is behind it all, and will he survive long enough to find out? As if the summary I just gave you weren’t enough, the whole thing was filmed in black and white and featured classic style, old noir film type music. All of that sealed the deal for me.
         About a month later, at SNOB Fest, I was finally able to check out
A Bad Luck Guy in a Bad Luck Town, the short film I’d been waiting so long to see, and I wasn’t disappointed! The film was well, written, well-acted and engaging, and it was all in a short, 20 minute package. Afterwards I had a few questions about the film, such as: what year does it take place, or does it matter? And, how did the filmmakers get the crystal ball to burn so perfectly in that one scene? And, why was the main character, Guy, cursed? Luckily, not long after SNOB Fest, I had the opportunity to speak to The Bad Luck Guy himself, Chris Goodwin. Here’s some of what he had to say:
        When I asked what year the film takes place, he said “I could not for the life of me tell you what year it’s in. I remember asking at one point, but I believe I was told it was not supposed to be any locked down time period. I treated it like those old noir films when I was preparing though. Also, nobody uses a cell phone in the film and they had me in a fancy vest and tie as a low level hitman, so it definitely didn’t feel present day when we were shooting it.”
        When I asked Chris about how they got the crystal ball to burn so well, he replied “When I was told that we would be imagining the fire and they would add CGI(computer generated imaging) later I [didn’t really trust them]. Having worked on other low budget Indie productions that had attempted such things, I kind of assumed it either would look like not so great special effects, or the whole shot would be cut around and they wouldn’t show the fire. But it actually looks awesome! They did an amazing job with that effect in post [production]. So, since Kyle (the writer/director) and everyone he works with always do great work, I should’ve believed him.”
Chris Goodwin as Guy on the set of A Bad Luck Guy... (Photo courtesy of Justine Gendron)

Chris Goodwin as Guy on the set of A Bad Luck Guy... (Photo courtesy of Justine Gendron)

        When asked what he hopes audiences will take away from the film Chris said, “ …I hope they get some sort of nostalgia for these types of old noir stories, and if there are some [people] that haven’t seen those type of films, maybe this gives them an itch to check some of them out.”
        Personally, I don’t think that will be a problem.
A Bad Luck Guy in a Bad Luck Town packs a ton of nostalgia, romanticism and some laughs into an action packed 20 minute short film. It’s got everything the classic noir films have, except the length. So, I encourage you all to see this film if you get the chance and I hope it inspires you to see more of what the noir genre has to offer.

A Bad Luck Guy in a Bad Luck Town is not rated, was written and directed by Kyle Johannesson and stars Chris Goodwin, Diana Porter, Aaron Andrade and Theresa Dern. It is currently making the film festival rounds, but will be out soon on Vimeo On Demand with filmmaker commentary and behind the scenes footage. For now you can find the trailer on Vimeo. For more information, check out their Facebook page at facebook.com/ABadLuckGuy/.