Friday, September 30, 2011

Short-Film Review...Barbara Stepansky "ROAD RAGE"

Written & Directed: Barbara Stepansky
Produced by Elisabeth Fies
Starring: Keiko Agena
Reviewed by: Char Hardin
(1-5): 2.5
Category: Short-Action-Horror


Barbara Stepansky what are trip! I loved her work in HURT and when I heard of this short-film, I immediately wanted to see it and she was kind enough to send it to me. This little short reminds me of one person in the morning…ME and again in the evening traffic! I have zero patience with drivers as did Keiko Agena’s character Connie in ROAD RAGE. The dialogue though one-sided sounded so familiar…I couldn’t help but smile and laugh out loud at Keiko’s colorful language. Who hasn’t screamed, “PEOPLE ARE SO STUPID!”  Oh, another favorite, “BITCHES!” The one she was missing was my signature 3 words but this is not about me, so moving right along to the review. J


Keiko’s character, Connie is on her way home from work and has merged in with the afternoon traffic. Everyone is against her, or one would think when you hear her yelling and screaming at the other drivers zipping all around her. For all the yelling and cursing one would think, she was in Houston or New Orleans at 5pm…nope, she was in Los Angeles. You haven’t driven until you drive the freeway in California, Houston or New Orleans in morning and evening traffic…lucky for her Connie only had to contend with L.A. That is until she flipped the wrong driver off and then it got personal.

ROAD RAGE is a good and don’t let my rating make you think, I didn’t enjoy it…because I did. My rating is on details that jumped out at me and choppy editing. Story, character, acting and action was fine…details and editing were problematic for me.

Elisabeth Fies was credited for stunt driving and she did it well. SPOILER! My chief complaint was there is a couple of hard TAPS to the rear of Connie’s Volkswagen Bug and following the rear bashings, Connie is seen walking alongside her car and the camera shows an undamaged rear bumper area. Those weren’t love taps they were rage infused rear-ending bashes from the red SUV (looks familiar like the one in another film by Elisabeth Fies) that was clearly pissed at Connie at being flipped off!

Another tidbit,(SPOILER) after the 2nd time Connie was bashed from behind, the camera zeroed in on her right foot, on the gas pedal and the shoe shown looked to be a brown-black laced up ankle boot with the tops of the shoe showing white socks and bared skin. Then, shortly afterwards, when Connie exited her car, the laced up ankle boots are replaced with above the ankle black leather laced boots with black laced/fishnet stockings with no bared skin. It doesn’t change what happened, just something I noticed.
I will be thinking of this film when I merge with the 5pm evening traffic and again in the early morning traffic as well. I gave ROAD RAGE 2.5/5 for minor details and chopping editing. The editing meaning where they cut away from something and cut back to Connie driving, really minor complaints, but the story/dialogue…I really liked!

Barbara Stepansky the awesome woman she is wrote Road Rage for the
 "I HATE LA MOVIE" part of the anthology of 11 vignettes of horror films by 7 Acclaimed FEMALE Directors! See the link to the site below.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! Thanks for the review! Love the end tag "Road Rage is a finger-flipping devious ride!"

    I am SOOO proud to be a producer of ROAD RAGE. I adore Barbara and all her brilliant work, including features FUGUE and HURT. Brenda Fies and I are so proud she made ROAD RAGE for us as part of the amazing I HATE L.A. anthology of interlocked horror shorts by female filmmakers!

    Thank you Char! Your devotion to indie filmmakers and helping women in horror inspires us daily!!!!