Directed by: Christopher Orr
Written by: Steven Briggs
Starring: Lenny Schmidt, Steven Briggs
Heart of Gold is a short film directed by Christopher Orr and written by Steven Briggs, who also stars in it alongside Lenny Schmidt.
The story is truly interesting. An assassin (Schmidt) is in an isolated place in the countryside during night-time, digging a hole in order to bury the body of a man he just killed. He is then joined by another assassin (Briggs), who is younger and appears to be more cheerful and brags about the people he has killed. As they give, they find a large chest that is full of gold coins. They decide to take the chest to the young assassin's house. Once there they discover that inside the chest, apparently written in blood, is the message: ''Repay them for what their hands have done and bring back on them what they deserve''. Then all of a sudden the older assassin is attacked by the man he supposedly had just killed. He kills him and then individuals who he had killed before appear and attack him, including former United States President John Fitzgerald Kennedy! Between the attacks, the young himan admits that he had never killed anyone, revealing why he is never attacked. After fighting them all off, he is overpowered by one. The younger hitman grabs a gun and prepares to shoot the intruder, only to realise that he is (or was) his brother, meaning that the older killer had murdered him as well. In retaliation he shoots the older killer instead.
The film could be described as a supernatural action black comedy. The evidence of supernatural is clear, because people who have died reappear alive, apparently because the chest has a curse as the message inside suggests. There is plenty of action too, with shooting and fight scenes that are effectively choreographed. The narrative contains plenty of jokes and there are elements of black comedy, due to the fact that although there are scenes of violence and danger, they are presented humorously. For instance, when the older assassin fights with his attacker, the other assassins watches and laughs and even takes a picture on his phone. Another comic moment occurs when President Kennedy appears. As he enters the house, the ''Hail to the Chief'' song is heard, which is stronly associated with the President of the United States, and he also quotes his famous words: ''Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for you country'', leaving no doubt that he is the former President and implying that the assassin was the one who killed him. It is a rather funny moment, that adds great quality to the film. Another dark humor moment worth mentioning takes place in the final scene, when the young hitman points a gun at his brother and realises that he actually is his brother. The film cuts to a short montage of scenes that appear to have been filmed by a home video camera, which show two male children and then the young one and his brother opening Christmas presents and watching television, revealing that they are brothers, while a sweet, gentle music is heard throughout the sequence. This revelation causes him to shoot his associate instead, who is not happy about it, ending the film with a bang (so to speak) and the audience will most likely find that amusing.
The film gains from entertaining performances. Specific credit though needs to go to Steven Briggs's comedic performance. He portrays a happy character, who smiles a lot and tells jokes and seems to be oblivious to the seriousness of the situations he encounters, that is until the end when he admits he never killed anyone and turn into a little wimp. It is clear that Briggs is having a lot of fun with his character.
Hear of Gold is not a film that takes itself seriouly. It a roller-coaster ride that benefits from an entertaining plot, clever dialogue and interesting characters. It is well-worth pursuing.