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By Doug Brunell | August 2, 2004

This student film was handed to me by one of its stars, Trevor
Reece, who also happens to be my friend. “Tell me what you think of this,” he said.

I think I’ve found some future talent.

The movie begins with George Lucas (Reece) explaining how he came across this film and liked it so much that he decided to give it a “special edition” like his Star Wars movies. (Lucas, oddly enough, sounds more like a stutter-less Woody Allen than the father of Chewbacca, but that’s really beside the point.)

Thus begins “Richard the Third: Special Edition.”

I hate Shakespeare, and when I realized that this short film skipped all the crap and went right to the good stuff — the killing — I knew it was getting some points. Richard (Tyler Jensen) just walks around meeting folks like “Larry from college” (Jeremy C.) and killing people … until he runs into Richmond (Reece in another role). Richmond snuffs out the horse-seeking royalty and gets to “bag” Elizabeth. Oh yeah, Ewoks are somehow involved in the plot, too, though don’t expect to see them.

This production has all the traits of a student film: low production quality, editing gaffs, poor sound, amateurish acting and general craziness. Fortunately, that can all be forgiven because it is witty enough to actually stand on its own.

The dialogue and music that is used throughout the short (and I‘m sure the music is used illegally) give the production a hilarious edge you
don’t find in most early efforts. These guys actually have talent and creativity, and they aren’t afraid to go for the joke — no matter how ridiculous it may seem. Granted, the film won’t win any awards, but you have to respect it nonetheless.

“Richard the Third: Special Edition” works on two levels. It appeals to fans of the films from Low Budget Pictures, and it will irritate the hell out of Shakespeare aficionados. Those are both pluses in my book.

Thanks, Mr. Lucas, for enabling us to see this hidden gem.

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