Thursday, 18 February 2016
Frances Stein (2015)
Written & Directed by P.J. Woodside
Stars: P.J. Woodside, Scott Cummings, Cody Rogers, Jessica Leonard, Steve Hudgins, Ruby Sayard Kelly, Felicia Stewart, Vivien Worthen-Powell and T.O.N.E-z
The next entry in Big Biting Pig Productions growing slate of dark entertainment, Frances Stein, gives a female led, current spin, on the tale of Frankenstein.Guess what? Messing with science is still ill advised folks.
Dr Frances Stein (PJ Woodside) is an angry, bitter woman with a grudge to bear. Her groundbreaking work fell apart in scandalous fashion not to mention her marriage - if that wasn't rough enough, her fellow scientist ex hubby (Scott Cummings) has moved his new lady in, the much younger vivacious (and snarky) Jayne, played brilliantly by Jessica Leonard. Her only real friend in the world is her assistant Avery (Cody Rogers) who really wants to help her with her work but is visibly uncomfortable with her manic disposition.
This review isn't going to delve any deeper into the plot of the film in respect to Big Biting Pig Productions and the fact you really should see this without spoilers. Suffice to say PJ Woodside who writes and directs as well as stars, has woven a classic tale of suspense with some nice twists and a sense of 'how will this all turn out?'
The writing is so on point that for a horror/thriller, the use of gratuitous violence isn't really needed. In one scene, involving the description of a tooth, the dialogue alone is enough to make you book a dentalcheck up (after you are done hugging yourself and wincing of course).
All core cast members do an impressive job of conveying their very different roles. PJ Woodside ramps up the crazy as Frances, a woman whose intense stare and stoic demeanor could terrify adults children and animals alike. Elsewhere Scott Cummings gives a smarmy turn as the ex husband enjoying the high life with his new wife played by Jessica Leonard. Jayne stomps around in her super bitch sexy heels with some perfect, acid laced, comments and was a joy to watch. A BBP movie wouldst be the same without Steve Hudgins appearing and he does play those villainous types so well. This time around he is playing an interrogator of those that know Frances Stein and he doesn't hold back on the steely glare and the threatening dialogue.
I really enjoyed Frances Stein for its well crafted story, interesting and well acted characters and a compelling ending. Don't go in expecting a blood bath and you are likely to be impressed. Big Biting Pig continue to show that a very low budget needn't herald sub par results and for that I will always be thankful to them.