Any number of thoughts might occupy your mind when you watch a movie. You could be thinking about whether or not to hold your date’s hand, if you remembered to lock the car doors, or what an excellent cast is in the film. The frequency and extent to which your thoughts relate to the film depend on your impression of it. Narratively engaging films make you reflect upon the story or characters. Visually and aurally stimulating works draw your attention to the images and soundtrack. When bad acting performances overshadow an otherwise solid plot, you mind begins to wander.
When watching Don Boner’s film “Losers Lounge,” it doesn’t take very long before your thought processes gravitate towards something other than important plot or character information. Shot in black and white, “Losers Lounge” is about Joey Ferdinando (Brian Talbot), a private eye who is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. The film is set in Passionville, Illinois 1948 and centers on the employees and patrons of the Losers Lounge. Lisa (Vickie Smith) owns the bar; Ginger (Laura Parish) is a seasoned pro at keeping men company; Speedy (Frank Kratoska) is the resident saxophonist; and Mariana (Autumne Sorgins) is the new girl in town.
Mariana turns the heads of every man who enters the bar, including Joey. Mariana is murdered and since Joey is the last person seen with her, he becomes the primary suspect. The story is interesting enough, and you are curious as to the real identity of the killer, but the actors’ delivery of lines inevitably pushes your focus to distraction. They speak with too many pauses in between phrases and have a tendency to put too much emotion into their voice when their characters are upset. Within minutes your thoughts shift from what the actors are saying to what they’re doing or what they’re wearing. When the camera gets too close to Joey’s face, you even wonder if he’s wearing eye-liner.
“Losers Lounge” wears the skin of a murder-mystery, but it isn’t the best fit.