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The Independent Critic

Layton Matthews, Ben Dreyfuss and Jesse C. Boyd
Layton Matthews
103 Mins.
FilmWorks Entertainment
Extended and Deleted Sc enes; Outtakes; Trailer; Photo Gallery

 "The Wanderers" a Solid Indie Effort 
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If I had to pick between Layton Matthews the actor, Layton Matthews the director and Layton Matthews the writer, the likelihood is I'd go with Layton Matthews the director.


It's simple. He takes a fairly formulaic story and makes it interesting despite the challenges of working with with a micro-budget and choosing to tell a layered and complex story. In the film, Ben Meadows (Jesse C. Boyd) is visiting his Texas home town for the first time in 10 years when a car accident leaves him in a coma. When he finally awakens, doctors realize he's got one serious case of amnesia. His younger brother, Lee (Matthews), takes him home to recover and before long he starts putting the pieces of his memory back together. In an attempt to regain his past, Ben convinces his brother to head off to L.A. with him in search of his father. Unfortunately for both of them, some things really should be left in the past.

While the whole "memory loss" storyline has been done to death, Layton Matthews has an original voice and Layton Matthews as a director finds ways to make it all feel unique even when we know it's not. While I don't do this often, I found myself perusing the Facebook page for The Wanderers and I just happened to stumble across a description of the film that struck me as quite near perfect  - Bottle Rocket but redneckier.

I'm not completely convinced that "redneckier" is actually a word, but the description itself still fits.

However you describe The Wanderers, the film is simply a solid indie flick filled with action, suspense, some thrills and some strong acting from both Layton Matthews and the always solid Jesse C. Boyd among several others in the ensemble cast. Ben Dreyfuss, as Coyote, and Tiffany Connor as Melanie also make a positive impression here.

The film also benefits from Scott Glasgow's atmosphere-setting original music, while the production quality may occasionally give hints of the low budget but more often than not it transcends it.

The Wanderers won't please everyone. Heck, this type of indie action/suspense flick never does. However, don't let its disappointing 3.4 rating on IMDB scare you off. While the film is not without its flaws, given its low budget and the challenges that go with that it's a solid indie flick indicating a promising future for Layton Matthews and his cast and crew of up-and-comers. The film has been picked up for distribution by FilmWorks Entertainment and is available through all your usual outlets. You can order it directly from Amazon by clicking on The Independent Critic's banner on the homepage.

© Written by Richard Propes 
The Independent Critic