Directed by Bennie Woodell
Written by Bennie Woodell
Starring Brad Fowler, Liz Davis, & Katie Lanigan
Find out more info on this film here!
Though not so much a horror movie as it is more of a crime drama with gore and horrific elements, THE SAD CAFÉ is nevertheless an intense and impressive offering from writer / director Bennie Woodell. I first met Mr. Woodell at a Fangoria Weekend of Horrors a few years ago. At the time, he was selling one of his first films, FAST ZOMBIES WITH GUNS. And though the film was very low budget, how could I not support a film with a name like that. I still get a grin on my face thinking about that little indie zombie flick and it made me take notice when Mr. Woodell contacted me about his latest film. THE SAD CAFÉ is an ode to Japanese crime dramas where a flawed hero is trying to do some good for once. Honor is a key element to the plot and the lines between good and evil are blurred when emotion barges its way into the mix. Woodell seems to understand this subgenre fully and conveys all of these themes and more in his latest film.
THE SAD CAFÉ is about a hitman and a waitress. Two people who are unlikely to fall in love, but they do anyway. Brad Fowler plays Jack, a man bound to his job as a hitman, yet yearning for a simpler, happier life. Of course in this business, just when you think you’re out…YOU’RE PULLED BACK INNNNN!!!!! Sorry, channeling my inner Pacino there. When Jack meets Rose, he wants to do the right thing, but debts and obligations don’t allow him the happier life.
THE SAD CAFÉ is a morality tale where the rules are hazy and grey—much like the best crime dramas like HEAT or THE DEPARTED. Bennie Woodell not only offers up a compelling story of love and crime, he also has quite a few memorable moments of technical uniqueness. Though this film was filmed on the cheap, it has big budget themes and impressive camera work that makes it feel much more mainstream than it is. It’s also got some crackling moments of gore and action involving gunplay, torture, and heartbreak. Seeing the leaps and bounds Woodell has made as a director and writer in the last few years makes me anticipate what he has in store for us next.