By Jack, on February 4, 2011
Director: Mike Carolo, Tom Michael Perry
Cast: Ray Koons, Jeff Bordner, Michael Solarez, Ron Elliot, Andy Pavich, Mel Nimer, David Feuere, Jayceen Craven, Sarah Bell
Because of various labels and stereotypes, independent films have been placed in a box. What could be expected from a low budget film that can only afford a rudimentary production? Often, the perception is negative that is why most moviegoers prefer mainstream and Hollywood films that can offer glamorous motion picture.
Released in 2007, Planted Evidence is a film written and directed by Mike Carollo and Tom Michael Perry, two of the many independent filmmakers who took the risk to have their story shared to the public in the form of an indie film.
The film lives up to its expectations of a typical independent film. It seems that the budget was stretched to make the ends meet that resulted in a very amateur production. Carollo and Perry had the whole production divided among them. And the script. The script can actually draw attention, especially at film festivals, but for this film, the attention drawn was negative. It is comparable to that of high school stage plays taken from an elementary storybook where everything is almost predictable.
Independent films are usually avenues for fresh and new filmmakers. Their novice experience reflects in their films. It is important to note that independent film directors regardless of their experience are passionate about their films. In that light, Planted Evidence is Carollo’s work in progress. It serves a stepping-stone for future success as others can view this and learn not to commit the same mistake.
If this film would have its remake, casting deserves a great deal of attention. Acting skills impact movies as much as the other elements. Unfortunately, the talents displayed here are too scripted to the point of being unnatural that it becomes dragging. The all too well rehearsed conversations and exchanges often stifle and flunk out of their timing, thus, fluffed lines.
Themes for Independent films mostly tackle subjects that deals with the darker human nature not usually depicted in mainstreamed movies the way indie films would have shown it. Planted Evidence tells the story of friendship, betrayal, and greed. The story develops when six business partners had their Saturday night card games only to wake up with Nancy’s (Jayceen Craven) dead body in the room. Everyone is a suspect but they have no clue so they just decided to bury the body. Thinking that this might have something to do with Tony (Michael Solarez), a former business associate who was cunningly cast off by Roger (Ray Koons), Tom (Ron Eliot) and Chuck (Melvin Neimer) went over to Tony only to find his dead body with blood. With people missing, police are on the look out. Add to this, the anonymous extortionist who blackmails them with videos of the crime pointing to them as suspects. As pressure increases, friendship has lost its value and each one turns to another in their battle for survival. The crime then becomes real and one by one they are murdered until the real culprit motivated by greed is the only one left standing.
And up to the end, the viewers are left in wonder as to who could be the person behind the planted evidences.
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