Indie Kick! Review: Charity Hurts (2010)
Starring Andrew Thatcher, John Tsoutis
Fight Choreography by Andrew Thatcher
Directed by Andrew Thatcher
Charity Hurts works from a very simple, but very human premise: We all want to do our part to help society and those in need. Dammit to hell, however, when charity workers show up to ask us to donate money, bothering us when we’re always in the middle of something. So many can come up sometimes it seems that they must all work for the same company, and in this film, they do.
The film opens by showing us just how serious charity workers are by flame throwing (is that a phrase?) a guy to death for refusing to pay his charity bill. There is some phone banter that’s pretty amusing here, and points out why the term “talk to the hand” doesn’t really work that well over the phone, and for even mouthing that phrase earned that guy a flamethrower to the face for damn sure. We then meet Jason Jones, a young guy who finds himself dealing with charity worker after charity worker, saying no to all of them, even to one who comes into his home saying he is the president of one of them, until a pair of female workers decide that the best way to get him to give is to take it from him by force, leading to the first fight of the film, which is easily the weakest of the entire film. The choreography is somewhat weak in this part, most likely due to the inexperience of the two women fighters.
After beating up both girls and going to the so called president’s house to dish out an old school ass kicking, Jason finds out that the charities are being run by the mob, and more specifically by mob boss John Scaglioni (Tsoutis). Jason takes it upon himself to stop Scaglioni once and for all, and must make his way through wave after wave of Scaglioni’s men to get to the big man himself. Along the way he meets a gung-ho cop who evidently hasn’t watched enough action movie cops to know what his fate would be, and a great assortment of baddies with varying levels of intelligence…
This film, written, edited and directed by Andrew Thatcher is cheesy fun at its best. Never mind the nonexistent production values and cheesy effects, which actually adds to the experience not unlike a Troma film (there’s a kill involving a tree branch and another using a 10 foot pipe that would make Lloyd Kaufman proud). The fights get steadily better as the film goes on, and the final fight versus Scaglioni is the best of them all, reminding me in places of Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung films such as Wheels on Meals and Dragons Forever. While the film has a simple premise, make no mistake that it’s full of action from start to finish, and a ton of humor in between. This film may not have worked if it had been played seriously, but Andrew and crew knew better, and made sure that the laughs and chuckles kept coming throughout the film. One of my favorite bits involve what the Employee of the Month for the charity workers gets: pretty much lap dances from three beautiful ladies, not to mention the oldest henchman in the world watching them, who has a standing heart attack, and quickly recovers in seconds to keep watching! Little pieces of humor like that keep the film sailing right along.
Charity Hurts is ambitious and fun, and further proof that you don’t need a Hollywood budget to make a decent martial arts film. All you need is a good premise, good choreography, and-perish the thought-good martial artists! I look forward to seeing what Mr. Thatcher and company come up with next!
To get a copy of the film you can contact Andrew here: http://charityhurts.wetpaint.com/
NEXT: Ninja Month kicks off with American Ninja!