The fable of The Scorpion and the Frog has appeared in countless television shows and movies, and quite often during a recent Presidential election. It’s the idea that, like animals, people can’t change their nature…no matter how much we think we can. Well, not only does the Scorpion make a nice gang tattoo, it’s the theme behind Jhosimar Vasquez’s short film The Scorpion’s Tale.
The film opens on a desert highway as a scorpion crawls into frame and a Chevy Impala whizzes by. The Impala pulls up to the Desert Canyon Correctional Institution, and The Kid (Adam Irigoyen) gets out of the car to visit his father in prison for the first time in a long time.
Cut to The Warden (Anthony Starke) strutting and singing down the cellblock with guards by his side. The Warden is in a good mood dispensing a little reality for the inmates and collecting a few kickbacks too. The Warden informs The Scorpion (Maximiliano Hernández) that he has a visitor and if he doesn’t abide by his rule, this may be his last.
“…The Kid gets out of the car to visit his father in prison for the first time in a long time.
The Kid brings The Scorpion a box of Mexican cigarettes and asks him why he won’t cooperate with the lawyers he hired to get him out. The Scorpion tells his son the story of The Scorpion and the Frog as we flashback to the hit The Scorpion was hired to do, that ultimately went wrong. The Scorpion explains to The Kid that even if the lawyers could get him out of prison, he’ll just do something that will land him in jail once again. He stands up and tells The Kid never to return.
Unbeknownst to The Scorpion, the target of the hit-gone-wrong was a friend of The Warden, and with no family coming back to visit The Scorpion, The Warden has a torturous end for The Scorpion involving facility built underneath the prison.
“…has a little twist at the end to make the journey all so satisfying.”
As a thriller, The Scorpion’s Tale has a little twist at the end to make the journey all so satisfying. It comes out of nowhere, cleverly pieces together the subtle clues laid out, and makes you want more. The performances are excellent, Maximiliano Hernández is the star gives depth to the prisoner with a plan. While the ending is good, it plays out pretty quick but ties up loose ends just a little too neatly to feel slightly forced. It offers an immediate payoff with a thrilling lead up, which is what we want.
Director Vasquez tells a good tale. He uses CG-effect well, with the exception of the big explosion, which looked a little too obvious as CG. He surrounded himself with a competent crew, and an ending title sequence that’s pretty cool.
The Scorpion’s Tale (2019) Directed by Jhosimar Vasquez. Written by Maximiliano Hernández, Brandon Lee, Tammy-Anne Fortuin. Starring Maximiliano Hernández, Adam Irigoyen, Anthony Starke. The Scorpion’s Tale screened at the 2019 Irvine Film Festival.
8 out of 10 stars