Bad Seed

Hitmen abduct a manchild and threaten him at gunpoint. He deserves it.

High noon. The sun is beating down on a winding desert road as a beige sedan snakes its way to the framework of a dilapidated house. The two hitmen in the car arrive at their destination and pop the trunk. Inside is a mouthy, overweight ma child who, nonplussed by the threat of being shot, demands to be taken home in time for Judge Judy. We learn instantly that this entitled jerk could use a lesson or two.

Thomas (Matthew Swanson) has some major issues. It could have been his parent’s fault. Through flashback we see just why this paunchy punk is on his knees and still mouthing off to his captors. Mom (Denise Moses) suggests he not eat snacks before dinner and this sets off a rant about what his Psychiatrist said he should be doing. In another painfully funny scene Mom and Dad (Andre Mathieu) walk in on Thomas watching porn in the living room. As they tell him they will no longer put up with things like that we keep cutting back to Thomas, in the desert, on his knees, sarcastically berating the two holding him at gunpoint. The entire time we wonder, will they shoot him? Please will they shoot him?

The snappy script…is a litany of hilariously uncomfortable moments…”

Swanson is vile as the petulant freeloader Thomas. What a monster. While Mathieu is fine, he doesn’t seem to have been given enough to work with. The stand out here is Moses as the soft-spoken mom with shades of Lin Shaye running through her work here.

The snappy script by Joe Gonzales and Bradford N. Smith is a litany of hilariously uncomfortable moments. Between how Thomas talks to his parents, and how he treats the two threatening to murder him, it is clear that consequence is not a thing he is familiar with. Gonzales, who also directs the six-minute short, keeps things snarky as hell and cringe-inducing. We are never really sure if this bastard will get his due, but we hope, more and more, that he will. Also props to Ben Boles who seems to have done everything else on the short.

Bad Seed is a punchy little bit of comedy, crime noir that was worth watching.

Bad Seed (2018) Directed by Joe Gonzales. Written by Joe Gonzales and Bradford N. Smith. Starring Matthew Swanson, Denise Moses, Andre Mathieu. Bad Seed screened as part of the Midnight Series at Dances With Films.

6 Out of 10

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