Short Film Review: $tack$

Reviewer: Jane Darcy

Writer and Director: Gerald Webb

$tack$ is a witty, stylish short that has already garnered much praise on the circuit. Writer, director and producer Gerald Webb sets up the scenario in a few deft moves. We look down on an urban landscape at night, hearing the sirens wail. Then we’re in a dark underground carpark, the camera seeming to creep along the side of a car before revealing two figures waiting silently by a black car. Thomas Hennessy’s cinematography is sure-footed and the slow steady pulse of music adds to the constant tension.

The men are waiting for a rendezvous. They’re clearly anxious: “If they don’t show up, the whole territory goes down the toilet,” one says. There’s the squeal of tyres and a second car inches into view. One by one three figures emerge – a slight female driver, then a huge man, then an even huger man, Hector. The two sides square up to one another. Hector demands to see the Boss.

Then there’s that classic introduction of a femme fatale – a black-stockinged leg in killer heels emerges seductively from a car door. The sexy woman, Magdalena, wears an enigmatic smile as she saunters in slo-mo towards Hector. A smile plays over his face too. We await the deal. And we’re in for a surprise.

Diahnna Nicole Baxter and Mark Christopher Lawrence clearly relish playing Magdalena and Hector. The pay off is hilarious and only on a second viewing do you start to notice the clever little jokes hidden in the script. Look out for the car numberplates too. The track over the final credits is a fabulous rap number by Webb. Check your urban dictionary for the meaning of ‘Dropping Deuces’. You might even begin to suspect that Webb’s credited co-writer Knappy is not what he seems.

$tack$ is currently screening at international film festivals including the Long Island International Film Expo on 16 July.

The Reviews Hub Score:

Stacks of fun

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The Reviews Hub Film Team is under the editorship of Maryam Philpott.

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One Comment

  1. I was lucky to catch this film at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival. Your review is spot on. It was one of the highlights of the show. But now I want a sequel!

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