New streaming on Shudder!
Directed & written by Juan Ortiz
Starring Sabina Friedman-Seitz, Jeremy Gardner, Michael St. Michaels, Stan Madray, Alex Zuko, Michael Richardson, Sterling William, Taylor Zaudtke, El Louissaint, Brannon Cross, Vincenzo Hinckley, Melissa McNerney, Rebekah Paugam
Amanda (Sabina Friedman-Seitz) has some serious mental issues. She is horrified by imperfections. We are introduced to her standing in front of the mirror, scanning her face for marks, bumps, or anything out of the ordinary. She then goes to a donut shop and because her server has a birthmark on her hand, she tosses the donuts out after buying them. So when her co-worker Walter (Stan Madray) shows up to work with a pinky finger missing, Amanda is freaked the hell out. After seeing a shrink, Amanda attempts to confront her fear and talk with Walter, but he’s missing another finger! What the hell is going on and why is Walter losing fingers on a daily basis? Well, it has to do with a psychopath who lives in a trailer named Talky (played by THE BATTERY and AFTER MIDNIGHT’s Jeremy Gardner) and the mysterious man who hired him named simply Fox (THE GREASY STRANGLER’s Michael St. Michaels). All four are bound to collide when Amanda takes her therapist’s advice to kill her fear literally.
FINGERS is a dark, dark comedy focusing on mental instability, horrifying happenstance, and terrible luck. It’s a comedy of errors where everyone in the cast is a little off in their own distinct way. FINGERS is a small story. It’s a tale that isn’t about big ideas or world-changing events, but the horror is how these weirdos react to and build off of one another until it builds to a fever pitch, but even the way this one ends is both quirky and disturbing. It’s a truly unconventional tale that proves to be unpredictable from beginning to end and even after you watch it, you’re going to ask yourself what the hell did I just experience.
While the off-kilter script would be bonkers, writer/director Juan Ortiz (who also delivered JENNIFER HELP US a while back) has chosen a hell of a cast to bring it to life. Sabina Friedman-Seitz is fantastic as Amanda. She’s definitely a bent personality, but there’s something infectiously likable about her even when she’s saying absolutely horrible and shallow things about people’s appearance. The frantic way she rattles out words and the animated run she uses every time she witnesses something she finds off-putting had me laughing over and over. Jeremy Gardner, a talented writer and director himself, is also a wonderful over the top personality and plays Talky with madcap glee. There are moments in this film that you actually feel bad for him, which is a difficult feat to accomplish since he is doing such heinous things. And Michael St. Michaels proves that THE GREASY STRANGLER was not a one-off. The man has a presence that is unmatched in the genre with his words being equally bizarre and threatening all at once. This is a film that revels in the characters, giving room to the actors to really shine through and deliver one memorably twisted scene after another.
There is a definite ending to FINGERS. For the most part, all plot points are dealt with. But the subject matter and the sheer insanity each of these characters possess allows for the film to end leaving the viewer with only the understanding that only more crazy wrongness is ahead for anyone left alive. This is an addictively odd world writer director Juan Ortiz has mapped out in FINGERS. It’s not going to be for those who prefer their characters making decisions of a sound mind, but if you’re willing to step into a lunatic’s shoes, FINGERS provides some loafers that’ll unsettle and make the right people laugh at the wrong things that go down.