You could easily be forgiven for first spying Maddie Nichols's Sandy in writer/director Sam Fox's horror/comedy short Fck'n Nuts and thinking to yourself that you've stumbled across some psychedelia-tinged version of Grease.
You'd be wrong, of course.
Fck'n Nuts is a cinematic beast all its own, a kaleidoscopic work of wonder starring the aforementioned Nichols as Sandy, a wholesomely not quite right young woman intensely aggrieved at the notion that she's going to have to break it off with similarly wholesome but not quite right boyfriend Dan (Vincent Stalba), a wannabe suitor who's declared himself in love and who's determined for himself that it's time to meet his beloved's parents.
Sandy, well, isn't quite ready for that to happen.
To give you much more that unfolds in this delightfully weird 12-minute delight would be a shame. This is a film best left to be experienced and practically guaranteed to be enjoyed by anyone with an eye and an ear for indie laugh-filled horror with twisted wonders galore.
This is my first experience with Fox's work and it's the kind of film that immediately has you gasping over to IMDB to check out filmographies for everyone involved. Fox has crafted a familiar tale that is wholly original in its manifestation with lensing by Daniel Waghorne that leaves you seriously in awe and absolutely thrilled. Original music by Sebastien Chenut and Maud Geffray is used to perfection to amplify the film's jarring storytelling and imagery while the production design by Brooke H. Cellars is a hysterical joy.
Of course, none of this works without a sublime ensemble and Fck'n Nuts has it. Nichols is an absolute scream existing somewhere between Grease meets Hard Candy meets Meet the Parents on acid. Vincent Stalba could very well have stepped off the set of The Andy Griffith Show as Dan, though he offers just the right hint of edginess and a bravado you just know is going to get a smackdown.
As Sandy's parents? Oh my, let's just say that William E. Harris and Michele Rossi don't disappoint. Special effects by George Trimm dazzle and Emma Badon's special effects makeup work here is nothing short of inspired.
Fck'n Nuts is the third short film directed by the up-and-coming Fox, whose IMDB indicates Sam was "born on a secluded animal farm at the top of Malibu's infamous Mulholland Highway."
Somehow, this seems absolutely perfect.
The film has already screened at a slew of indie fests and picked up prizes at FilmQuest (Best Midnight Short), Flickers' Rhode Island Vortex (Best Horror Comedy), and Knoxville Horror Film Fest (Best Short Film and Best Unhinged, Original & Fun Film).
Fck'n Nuts is a horrific delight and Sam Fox is a filmmaker to watch.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic