It’s 1975, and there’s a serial killer loose on the streets of New York in Nancy Menagh’s short film, Victim No. 6. Donna (Heather Brittain O’Scanlon) is alone waiting for her friend, Judy (Rachel Farrar), at a corner newsstand for a casual night of drinking at a local bar. Donna is scanning the newspaper headline about The City Slayer and his most recent victim.
Just as the fun begins, Judy spots a co-worker, the Tuna Casserole Guy (Michael Sean Cirelli), and ditches Donna, with her blessing, to be with him. Now alone, Donna is hit on by the somewhat toxic Bruce (Craig Mungavin), who appears to know a little more about The City Slayer than the rest of the world. As he becomes increasingly aggressive toward Donna, she is rescued by Mark (Russ Russo). As the evening progresses, the two strangers hit it off, and they decide to head to Donna’s apartment for a nightcap. But things are not as they seem.
“As Bruce becomes increasingly aggressive toward Donna, she is rescued by Mark…”
The overarching theme behind Victim No. 6 is the difference women and men face just stepping out onto the street. In general, women must be hypervigilant when walking alone on a darkened street (or a well-light one for that matter) — always suspicious of how men are looking at them, interpreting micro- and macro-aggressions, and fending off unwanted advances. Then place this fear in the context of a serial killer’s rampage through the city, and the anxiety is heightened even more. The short film taps into these fears and, in good thriller fashion, successfully shifts suspicion from one character to the next and plays on how subtle manipulations can lower our guard leading to disaster.
As a short film, writer/director Nancy Menagh gets a lot of things right. She brilliantly creates the world of 1975 in simple ways beyond just hair and clothes. It also helps that, as Donna, Heather Brittain O’Scanlon nailed her character perfectly. She plays her strong, always aware, and you always know what she’s thinking… sort of. Victim No. 6 is a brilliantly executed story that will keep you on your toes to the very end.
"…Heather Brittain O'Scanlon nailed her character..."