Pipe Image


By Alan Ng | September 10, 2020

A girl finds a dead body in the not-too-distant dystopian future in Max Isaacson’s Pipe. Just a warning, this is going to be a short and sweet review as the film runs a fast twelve minutes and is almost all action.

While walking along the beach, the young Pup (Elizabeth Hunter) discovers the dead body of a woman on the beach with a large lead pipe clutched in her frozen hand from rigor mortis. Pup wraps up the body and drags it to her father’s bar in the town of White Rock.

As she looks for a shovel to bury the body, her father asks Pup if she’s scavenged the body yet. Before you know it, Bliss (Tracie Thoms) enters the bar with her gang and demands the body. When Pup resists, Bliss decides to assert her authority in the way only gangs can do—with threats and violence.

“Pup wraps up the body and drags it to her father’s bar in the town of White Rock.”

Short films often serve as a “pilot” as if it were for a potentially bigger feature. I don’t know if that was the intention of director Isaacson and writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, but I’m hooked. With its short run time, the filmmakers effectively establish a location and time, as well as introduce character and backstory (when needed) without ever needing to say it in dialogue. You’re never lost from beginning to end. It’s called being concise.

They also establish characters brilliantly. I was immediately drawn to Pup as the sympathetic lead of the story, and that sympathy builds when Bliss and her gang want to turn her into one of them. There’s more plot to this that’s not worth spoiling.

But really, the action is the star. It’s brutal and as well as low-budget gruesome. The titular “pipe” is the primary weapon of choice, and you feel the very heavy thuds, whether you see it or hear it. The action really tells a story.

If Pipe is a “pilot,” I’ll watch more. Pipe tells a more compelling story in twelve minutes than most Hollywood productions in twenty-five.

Pipe (2020)

Directed: Max Isaacson

Written: Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly

Starring: Elizabeth Hunter, Jeffrey Nicholas Brown, Tracie Thoms, Zoë Bell, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Pipe Image

"…It’s brutal and as well as low-budget gruesome."

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