The third production from husband-and-wife team of Ryli Morgan and Mark Baranowski (“Severe Injuries”) tells the story of the love triangle between a drug dealer, his ex-wife and his new girlfriend. He’s made a score that will allow him to leave his shady past, and he wants his former lover to join him (and his current lover) in a new life together. But too much has past and her life has changed drastically – she’s no longer the same person he once loved (to put it mildly). But if he can’t have her, no one can. And she might have the final word after all.
The team first burst onto the indie scene with the stylish short Despair and followed it up with their first feature Runaway Terror. Like the previous entries, “Expendable” explores themes of loss, love, betrayal and murder. They continue to grow as actors and filmmakers, and would really benefit not only from more money, but also more help. Nine times out of ten, they’re the only ones on camera – and the only ones running the equipment at the same time. As a result, much of the film is static singles and two-shots, but Baranowski knows how to keep the action flowing through editing, so the scenes do have a fluidity (occasionally hampered by a talky script, if you really want to quibble here).
The couple like putting in final-act twists that change everything that came before, and they usually manage to do it without leaving the audience feel cheated – “Expendable” is no exception to that end. And both are comfortable with their bodies to appear unclothed in their films (though most will be more satisfied with Morgan’s nudity than Baranowski’s – such is the nature of the business). A surprise striptease cameo by Scream Queen Stevens comes about mid-way through, with Our Lady Brinke showing off her inherent sex appeal and charisma. Fans of indie movies where the hard work is evident on the screen will not be disappointed by “Expendable”.
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