Directors – Joshua Wagner & Thomas Zambeck
Starring – Augie Duke, Patrick Cronen, Jillian Leigh, Sam Boxleitner, Sasha Higgins.
Runtime – 99 Minutes
Available to watch NOW from Vimeo here – https://vimeo.com/ondemand/thebadgergame
Badger Game (baj-er)(geym) noun – an extortion scheme in which a married man is tricked into a compromising position and made vulnerable to blackmail.
Alex, the scorned mistress of high rolling businessman, Liam, sets in motion a plan to get revenge on her ex-lover. Accompanied by her brother, Kip, best friend, Shelly, and another of Liam’s scorned conquests, Jane – the gang don some super creepy plastic animal masks, kidnap the sleaze bag and demand that he stumps up two million dollars or have all the sordid details of his extramarital activities revealed to his wife.
The plan hits a major bump in the road when Liam manages to escape and Alex’s identity is compromised. They re-capture him easily enough, but now he knows too much. To make matters worse a private investigator is found snooping around and reveals that he has been hired by Liam’s wife to follow him. From this point on the original plan goes out of the window and the night descends into unmitigated chaos.
The premise of this movie is so simple that you kind of get the feeling while watching it that it must have been done before. Surely? Hasn’t it? It probably has but that doesn’t matter. Often the simpler the premise, the better the movie. Filmmakers can to get so wrapped up in convoluted structures and plot twists that they forget what makes films work to begin with. Writer-directors Joshua Wagner and Thomas Zambeck certainly haven’t forgotten those things and this wrought thriller belies its meagre budget.
Honest, interesting characters are at the heart of this film. None of them are perfect, infact some of them are straight up dicks, but they all have their own reasons for embarking on this hair brain scheme to begin with. As the night progresses their true personalities and motivations are revealed, some very subtly and some not so much.
The deft writing is complimented perfectly by the fantastic performances of the actors. There are some terrific, tense scenes that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck and also leave you wondering why a woman sexy dancing in a frog mask is so damn hot. The messy conclusion is just about perfect and all in all this film may not be doing anything altogether groundbreaking or original, we’ve all seen kidnappings , blackmail and animal masks before, but what it does do, it does very, very well.
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