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Billy Club (Review)

 

"Overall, the film was first-class, a solid slasher flick. Nick Sommer, wearing multiple hats in this film, along with his writing/directing partner, Drew Rosas, hit an unyielding double-play..."

by Randy Krinsky

Billy Club is actor Nick Sommer's first foray into directing features.  The film is standard slasher fare but with a few twists.  The story is basically about four friends who reunite on the fifteenth anniversary of a tragic triple homicide that tore their little league baseball team apart (I know, little league, really?  That's new!).  A teammate, Billy, who cost them the big game is bullied and pushed until he takes revenge killing two other teammates and their coach.  He is caught and sent to a mental institution.  The backstory is basically told through some flashbacks and a series of intercuts of someone looking through library archive clippings.  Using a series of form cuts to bring the viewers back to present day is a nice touch.

Billy Club
Wrirren & Directed by Drew Rosas & Nick Sommer
Cast Marshall Caswell, Erin Hammond, Nick Sommer
Release Date Out Now
Randy's Grade: B

The old friends, Alison McKenzie (Erin Hammond), Kyle (Nick Sommer), Danny (Max Williamson), are joined by the returning Bobby Spooner (Marshall Caswell), who apparently left their small town as he grew older.  In honor of their lost teammates, the group decides to spend the anniversary at the old cabin of their deceased coach.  The mystery begins as an unknown killer, in an old umpire's mask, begins to stalk and kill everyone of the remaining members of the old team.  As our four  are the last who remain, old secrets from their past begin to emerge as they draw ever closer to the eventual showdown with an inescapable killer out for vengeance.

The acting is good, at least for our four main characters, as well as the intense Mark Metcalf (guest starring as the team's former umpire).  Nick Sommer and Max Williamson are funny, while Marshall Caswell has that aura of the "quiet cool".  I have to point out that I really did enjoy Erin Hammond.  She's talented and stands out right away.  The acting of a few of the peripheral characters left something to be desired, but I tried to roll with it, focusing on the plot.  Without getting into any spoilers, I will say there were a few story points that were a bit shaky.  I could tell what the filmmakers were trying to say in a couple of scenes but their method of getting to the point was a little off.  In other words, I could see the finish line but their route was not the direct one.  Besides that, however, the story was good quality.  The twist in the ending answered some questions but did raise a few new ones that I wish would've been explained.

Overall, the film was first-class, a solid slasher flick.  Nick Sommer, wearing multiple hats in this film, along with his writing/directing  partner, Drew Rosas, hit an unyielding double-play (to use little league vernacular).  Not quite a home run, but for young directors, Billy Club is a very strong step in what looks like a promising career.

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