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Craig

Denmark/USA 2008
produced by
Jan T. Jensen, Jim Pedersen, Art D'Alessandro (executive), Michael Dolen (executive), Kevin Eade (executive), Dan Jagels (executive), Christopher Longoria (executive), Justin M.Lord (executive), Sojourner Manns (executive), Jason Perlzweig (executive), Joanne J-Bird Phillips (executive), P.Alberto Sanchez (executive), Ashley Scott (executive), Duncan Skinner (executive), Kim Sønderholm (executive), Christie Soria (executive), Jeff Stoll (executive), Chris Villafano (executive), Rocky Whitehead (executive), Fabrizio Wiederkehr (executive) for Cetus Productions
directed by Kim Sønderholm
starring Kim Sønderholm, Peter Ottesen, Christian Magdu, Jan Tjerrild, Trine Stårup, Merete Van Kamp, Claire Ross-Brown, Christa Møller Nielsen, Lloyd Kaufman, Manoush, Anna Bård, Zoe Hunter, Anja Owe, Sarah Louise Christiansen, Bianca Abel, Ian Burns, Alice Haaber, Robyn Griggs, Maria J.Tesch, Karin Bertling, Melany Denise, Russ Diaper, Lars Bjarke, Michael René Jensen, Jenni Lykke Olsen, Pia Beenfeldt
written by Kim Sønderholm, with ideas by Jan T.Jensen, music by Russ Diaper, special effects makeup by Lone Kirkegaard, digital effects by Jan T.Jensen/Objektor

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Craig (Kim Sønderholm) has just lost his parents in a fire that also put his sister (Anna Bård) into a coma, and from here on, his life goes downhill: At work, he's constantly bullied by his female boss, his attempts at dating go horribly wrong, he has become hooked on lithium pills that eventually lose their effect, he starts to seeing things that simply aren't there (like a man on the TV [Lloyd Kaufman] telling him to kill), and sex with a prostitute (Christa Møller Nielsen) leaves him horribly unsatisfied. So unsatisfied in fact that it pushes him over the edge and he kills her.

This doesn't solve anything of course, actually it only makes him hungry for more killing, like his boss or a stripper (Barbara Zatler) ... and it makes him see his dead father, who reveals that it was Craig himself who set his family's house aflame, to avenge himself for the years of abuseby his father.

When all seems lost, Craig rather out of the blue finds a girlfriend, Angela (Trine Stårup), and for a time, his life couldn't be better, no killings, no depression, nothing - until she breaks up with him for no apparent reason, which once more pushes Craig over the edge, and this time, he goes after Angela, with cop Johnny (Peter Ottesen), who has put him under surveillance for quite some time now, close behind. Craig kills his comatose sister (whom he never wanted to hurt when he set the house on fire), takes Angela captive, but sets her free in a forest to hunt her down with a gun, shoots her in the back and then rapes helpless Angela, struggling for her life. But before he can stab her too, cop Johnny shoots him ... but fails to kill him, so when Johnny looks after Angela, Craig stabs him, only to be in turn stabbed by Angela, who still had enough life left in her to end his miserable existence ...

 

Craig has all the necessary elements for your typical exploitative shocker: Violent killings, gore, naked women, a car chase and of course  a cameo by Lloyd Kaufman - yet director/writer/star Kim Sønderholm is less interested in making just another genre film, and instead he has used all the typical ingrediences to make a psychological case study (using the term case study rather freely here). The outcome is interesting, depressing, but also weirdly entertaining - entertaining mainly because as a writer/director, Sønderholm doesn't try to hammer a message home and as an actor he gives a powerful, compelling yet sympathetic performance of the main character that allows the audience to identify with him without condoning his killings, understanding him without finding excuses for him.

Quite a good film, actually.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD