Directed by: #HoltBoggs
Written by: Holt Boggs
The American diner is a classic cinematic convention to convey mystery and drama. Without the associations of a more familiar setting, like a home or workplace, or any other form of exposition, the viewer is asked to take the characters as they are and only by what transpires in the scene. In filmmaker Holt Boggs’s short film Crazy, this technique is used to incredible effect, whereby an increasingly erratic and baffling scene between a mobster and his hitman reaches stupendous heights of...well...crazy.
Boggs not only writes and directs here but also stars as the aforementioned mob boss Stanley, who waits for his insolent hitman Monty (Brian Villalobos) to arrive in the classic diner setting. The two endure a tense exchange before getting down to brass tacks, riffing on a narrative so incredible it involves car crashes, penis sizes, and Conan O’Brien.
As a ten-minute short film with a see-it-to-believe-it final third, it would be a tragedy to spoil any more of the glorious story but what I will say is that this may very well be the best dark comedy of 2019! Boggs (who impressed in the sterling An American in Texas) gets his first directorial credit here and what a first outing. The mise en scéne of Crazy is superb, the atmosphere is spectacularly curated, and the script is really, really fucking funny. It is the offhand delivery of so many memorable lines (penis eyes may be a firm favourite for many) that could easily be missed if you blinked, that makes the short movie so special.
The chemistry between Boggs and Villalobos cements the piece. Their repartee and dynamic is a familiar boss & goon coupling but rarely are we given such intensity from each performer. Usually we get a strict and serious guy and a bumbling buffoon, but here each character appears to be so deadly serious about what they have to say the audience are going to be hugely challenged to decide what’s a joke and what’s not.
Music is brilliantly used to heighten the tension and complement the uneasy tone of the storyline. Boggs feels 100% in control of the #filmmaking here and at no point drops the ball or jolts the viewer from the movie, which is an incredible feat. By creating such an immersive mood and touching on crime genre tropes without committing to them, he plays with our cinematic expectations in such a masterful way. It’s a thrilling film that keeps you on your toes and happy to devour the inspired storytelling, lucid performances, and arresting aesthetics.
Come for the crackers and stay for the penis eyes.
Watch the Short Film Trailer for Crazy below.