“Intoxicated Demons” is an odd short film that plays like something from David Lynch’s mind, though it’s a bit more coherent. It will irritate many viewers (especially when they reach the film’s conclusion, which is as open-ended as they come), but it still somehow manages to draw you in with a story where the outcome is never quite clear.
Luke Pennington plays Johnny, a guy whose girlfriend just dumped him. Like far too many other guys in this situation, he drowns his sorrows in alcohol at a fairly deserted strip club. While there he meets a strange man (John Gilbert) who offers plenty of advice about women and their wicked ways. When Johnny accepts a ride with the man, he finds himself blacking out and regaining consciousness at a place that looks like Lover’s Lane. It is here that the stranger, who used to be a preacher, drops some more knowledge on our hapless hero. “I sell life jackets,” he explains. Yeah, that’s not exactly an accurate description of his line of work.
Some of the best films never give you too many clues about their destination. They take you for a ride and hope you enjoy it enough to stay on. Sometimes the conclusion works, other times it doesn’t even come close. This one doesn’t come close, but you can’t help but be kind of impressed with how easily you were lured into the story. It almost makes one forgive the film’s finale. I did. In fact, I thought about the film’s ending for days, trying to figure out Johnny’s future. Not a single scenario I came up with was a good. That shows how powerful the film’s presence is; fourteen minutes that got me a-ponderin’ for days.
If your idea of a good film involves anything called Klingons or Cuba Gooding, Jr., steer very clear of this film. If, on the other hand, you like to think of films as ticking time bombs left in your mailbox and packed either with nails or candy, then you owe it to yourself to seek this one out. Just don’t blame me if the ending nags at you for close to a week.