A young woman is looking to escape her past in director Chris Oz McIntosh’s action-comedy short Stick Up. Ali (Tori Hartley) is the woman in question and enters a convenience store in her local Oklahoma town. Carefully hiding her sidearm, she waits for the owner McField (Darryl Cox), to arrive in hopes of robbing him for some quick cash.
Unfortunately, new hire Sonny (Garrett Davis) shows up first and reveals he’s also there to rob the store. Now, imagine the last person these two would-be thieves would want to encounter? That’s right, a cop, specifically Officer Howard (LaRonn Marzett), shows up. We now find ourselves in a three-gun stand-off complicated by the eventual arrival of McField and an unwitting customer.
“A young woman is looking to escape her past…”
Stick Up, written by Garrett Davis and Tori Hartley, is much more action than comedy. The humor comes from the craziest of all the characters: Sonny and Officer Howard. While nothing they do or say is laugh-out-loud funny, they are quirky in a unique, amusing way. The story itself has some quick twists and turn. The drama comes in various forms of betrayal experienced and perpetrated by Ali with a bit of small-town politics to foil her escape.
The short works because McIntosh creates a visual chess game of violence on a small budget. Much of the action takes place off-screen. He builds the right amount of tension just before each brutal beat. His use of titles and music makes his small story feel epically cinematic. All this makes Stick Up a fun watch.
"…a visual chess game of violence..."