In Muskie Point, two crews working for a crime boss named Mr. Mannericks face-off against each other when one crew has been asked to surrender one of their own guys. Caught stealing from the boss, Doyle (Kevin Ibbotson) is now trussed up in the trunk as his own partners in crime drive him to meet the enforcer and his own team of goons.
These wise guys aren’t exactly what you’d call the sentimental type, but they extend the twisted loyalty they have for their organization to their brethren, and a couple of them are genuinely uncomfortable being asked to hand over Doyle. During the ride out to Muskie Point (which is where they take you when you’re not coming back), a spirited conversation takes place over whether Doyle deserves this fate and how to deal with the other crew.
In the enforcer’s car, a different conversation is taking place as they onboard a new soldier, schooling him about loyalty, following orders, not stealing from the boss, and finally, emphatically, giving instructions that no one is pulling their gun at the meet.
Of course, someone does.
The situation devolves quickly from a moral dilemma to a four-alarm dumpster fire in the woods as shooters run in all directions and set up several vignettes among smaller groups as they track each other down.
“…a spirited conversation takes place over whether Doyle deserves this fate, and how to deal with the other crew.”
The film’s directing and writing credit is split three ways among the brothers Sewell: Eric, Ian, and Stephen. The Sewells are clearly Tarantino fans, as this movie could be described as an homage to Reservoir Dogs, set in the woods. It doesn’t quite reach that level of quality, but for being an Indie film, it certainly stretches admirably in that direction, aspiring to be like QT. All three of the Sewell brothers act in the film, as well as writing/directing, and it looks like everyone had a hell of a lot of fun making it.
Once the shooting starts, the film more or less stops being about anything except guys running through the forest while running their mouths, and running out of bullets.
A word about ammunition: I always wonder about gangsters carrying guns but no extra bullets. Starting in the 1920’s, the guys who carried Thompson sub-machine guns came prepared. They had anywhere between 30 – 100 .45 Caliber rounds in one clip. You can pretty much cut a 1932 Ford Model V8 in half with that gun. These days your typical semi-automatic handgun has around 10 rounds in the clip. If you’re carrying it for self defense and don’t bring extra ammo, you better hope you don’t get into a real fire-fight, as you’ll be actively engaged for about 30 seconds and then have to hide behind something heavy.
To the filmmakers credit, the gangsters in the woods in Muskie Point do have to stop and reload, and they are even carrying a few clips each. When it comes down to it, the low-budget results in shootouts and fist-fights that go on too long, but the reason to watch the film, and you should, is the dialogue. It’s sharp, witty, and well thought out. The ending is ironic, and ultimately satisfying, as well. Get your popcorn and watch some gangsters go gunning for each other while they crack wise, see?
"…trussed up in the trunk as his partners in crime drive him to meet the enforcer"