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Social Distance

USA 2020
produced by
B. Luciano Barsuglia (executive), Barry Barsuglia (executive), Rob Mahoney (executive), Todd Plesco (executive), Steve Wollett (executive) for Koa Aloha Media
directed by B. Luciano Barsuglia
starring Jed Rowen, Tasha Tacosa, Christine Ashley McGee (= Christine Cowden), Sean Patrick McGee, Rachel Riley, Kasey Brown, Vernon Wells, Paul Bradford, Paul Bunnell, Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe, Noellie Burger, Brenda DeRe, David Beatty, Tanamin Clark, Zan Alda, Justin P. Warren, Hans Hernke, Dawna Lee Heising, Sheri Davis, Nigar Mammadova, Kyrillos Saber, Amanda Thomas, Jason Kartalian, Steve Wollett, James Di Giacomo, Ana Harrison, Camilla Goritz, Megan K. Warren, Bobby McGee
written by B. Luciano Barsuglia, music by Robert Aquato

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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It's the early days of the Corona pandemic, and in their search for a culprit for not the origin but the spread to the USA, the general public has quickly identified cruise ships as a villain - and thus, cruiseline owner Oldman (Vernon Wells) has assembled his crack team of employees for a way out of the image crisis, a crack team including conspiracy theorist Stork (Jed Rowen), "influencer" Alexus (Tasha Tacosa), organisational genius Carol (Christine Ashley McGee), her not super bright boyfriend Dave (Sean Patrick McGee), her frustrated assistant who feels she should have her job Jess (Rachel Riley), and recovering alcoholic Nick (Kasey Brown). In a series of video calls, all monitored by Oldman, they try to not only spin the thing but also find out what has been going on and how much of the conspiracy theories surrounding the cruiseline have been true - and it becomes apparent that the story is at least not as harmless as they'd like it to be when the captain of one of their cruiseships (David Beatty) blows his brains out while on a conference call with them. They also uncover a trail that leads to unplanned stops of the line's ships in Antarctica, and it seems they're onto something - but will they find out what exactly's going on when Stork's willingness to believe just about every conspiracy theory clouds his mind for the truth, Alexus is much more interested in her private channel to really follow things, Carol and Dave are going through a relationship crisis, Jess contracts the virus herself, and Nick takes to drinking again. And behind the scenes there seems to be a mighty puppet player at work ...

Genre faves Dawna Lee Heising and Sheri Davis make a fun appearance as fitness instructors.

 

Even the title suggests it, Social Distance is clearly a child of its time, in story as conspiracy theories seem to have reached a new high with the arrival of the Corona virus (and the initial lack to properly understand it) in 2020, and stylistically as it has been filmed like a series of video conferences, almost permanent split screen and below-perfect picture quality included. And that all said, as a conspiracy thriller, Social Distance actually works pretty well as its basic story is well thought through and peppered with enough (false) leads to keep one guessing throughout, the twists and turns are all well-places, it's well-played and it moves along swiftly enough to make one forget the basically dull (if borne out of necessity) visuals and entertain throughout.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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