‘In 1972, the conflict in Vietnam continues. The creeping threat of communism grips the nation in fear. In an abandoned prison on the US/Mexican border, KGB mole Nikolai Dzerzhinsky waits for his contact from the Washington Post. He holds explosive evidence against the CIA, information he will trade for asylum in the United States. Special Agent Robert Harper’s orders are clear: take the documents from Dzerzhinsky and kill him.‘
I’ve been a big fan of Vodo.net for a while. Their mission to try and create a new business model for film and TV that involves community support is something that I really hope will catch on. A Lonely Place for Dying is a film that has been doing the festival circuit for a while now, and Writer/Director Justin Evans has decided to tap into the audience that studios have been so busy fighting with a piecemeal release via torrent over the next few months.
One of the first things that struck me when watching A Lonely Place for Dying is that it looks like it should have cost a lot more than the quoted $200,000 budget. The cinematography on display here is great, and while there are moments where its indie nature shines through, this looks like it could have easily come out of one of the big studios. It certainly doesn’t look like a student film.
One of the big problems that low-budget films often run into is with casting. When you have a limited budget you don’t usually have that much of a choice when it comes to your main cast. But somehow, Evans has managed to put together a fantastic cast including James Cromwell and Michael Wincott who both turn in great performances. But the real standout here is newcomer Ross Marquand. His portrayal of KGB defector Nikolai Dzerzhinsky is extremely believable, and I was really invested in his character from the beginning.
Evans’ dialogue is nice and solid, and feels really appropriate to the Cold War espionage setting. The score from Brent Daniels fits right into the period as well, although sometimes it made some of the softer dialogue a little hard to hear.
Overall, this is a very impressive piece of film, and I look forward to seeing the remaining parts when they are released. If Evans does manage to get the film into a local festival, I’ll definitely be lining up to see it. If you’re a fan of the genre, then I highly recommend that you check A Lonely Place for Dying out. And if you like it, make sure to donate!
What I Liked – Great performances from all the actors. Looks like a much higher budget movie. Good use of tension. Great way to tap into the torrenting audience.
What I Didn’t Like – Sometimes the music was a bit loud.
Rating – 4 out of 5 (Really Enjoyable)