All God’s Creatures
Directed by Ryan Cummings and Frank Licata
Written by Josh Folan and Billy Fox (additional material)
Starring Josh Folan, Jessica Kaye and Ginger Kroll
The new indie film release All God’s Creatures tells the story of fresh-scrubbed boy next-door Jon (Josh Folan), a barista by day and unconscionable serial killer by night. Jon prowls the streets of New York searching for women to slay after he leaves the coffee shop at night, and has little trouble doing so thanks to his wholesome good looks and quiet demeanor. But any horror fan knows it’s always the quiet ones you need to worry about. Back at his apartment, Jon keeps a macabre collection of “trophies” acquired from his victims, preserved in jars and proudly displayed on shelves in his basement.
Jon is indiscriminate in choosing his victims; it seems no one woman is safe from his primal urges. That is, until Delia (Jessica Kaye) walks into the coffee shop one day. Jon finds himself curiously drawn to the dark haired beauty whose bohemian attitude is the antithesis of his tightly wound persona. The two strike up an unlikely friendship that eventually goes into some dark places.
I found the film to be as much a character study about two severely damaged people (Delia is a prostitute) who tentatively fall into a dysfunctional romance, as it is a film about a serial killer. There are definite nods to American Psycho (Jon chants a mantra about his favorite movies in his head when he is on the hunt), but the gritty, small budget feel of the film also reminded me of Simon Rumley’s Red White & Blue (though not as gruesome). However, thanks to a twisty third act, the film feels wholly original.
For a film produced on a shoestring budget (by Nitty Gritty studios, Sid & Nancy Productions, and NYEH Entertainment), the acting is solid. Folan makes you buy that Jon has no feelings, period. At times he shows a glint of disgust or contempt for the people around him, but mostly his eyes are cold and lifeless. He’s utterly remorseless.
Kaye is a good find as Delia, who acts tough as nails, but is still a frightened child inside who has just fled her abusive stepdad. She accepts the prostitution as what she has to do to get by, nothing more, and nothing less. Kaye is a chameleon-like in her physical appearance from scene to scene. She’s sultry and heavily made-up at times, and vulnerable and naïve looking in others. It works well for the character.
Another nice surprise is the soundtrack. Des Roar’s “Ted Bundy Was a Ladies Man” plays over the title sequence, and it is a perfect pairing of music for the material, with an addictive tune and oh-so-appropriate lyrics. It really starts of the movie with a fun touch. The band also contributes “Confessions of a White Widowed Male” and “How Much is too Much” to the movie.
All God’s Creatures received nominations for best actress and best screenplay at the 2011 Hoboken International Film Festival, and it’s a worthy entrant in the independent thriller genre. You can purchase the DVD at www.allgodscreaturesfilm.com, and it is available streaming at IndieFlix. – Shannon