THE MADNESS WITHIN ** USA 2019 Dir: Hunter G. Williams. 97 mins
Russ Washington (Hunter G. Williams) has it all… big budget movie to make, fast cars, women and as much coke to stuff up his nose as he likes. However, he also has his best friend and business partner, Marcus (Edin Gali) who is a complete liability spending all the budget on parties and gambling before its really started, a director who is holding them behind schedule and he just started a relationship with a hooker. With his expensive habit becoming a lifestyle and his on/off association causing him distraction he slowly begins to slide down that slippery slope to oblivion. The movies big wigs kick both Russ and Marcus off the premises and they really hit rock bottom. Luckily Russ finds out just how much April (Tessa Farrell) really cares about him as she turns out to be the only person prepared to help him.
Not really too sure what to say about this one. It seems to me to be a very sweary, low budget version of PRETTY WOMAN with lots of drug abuse, sex and a suicide thrown in. That might sound quite intriguing but I can assure you that all of this stuff comes across as rather tame. There is a part in the dialogue that actually states “This is NOT Pretty Woman” yet I found myself answering aloud with “No mate… it really is.” The acting is really not that bad, it’s just that all the characters are inherently unlikeable you really don’t care what happens to them. That is a bit harsh I guess… there is a moment that is quite harrowing involving April and a hotel room full of burly blokes. The night scenes in the clubs are too gloomy and sometimes the sound completely cuts out in random places. I don’t have a lot of interest in clubbing which features quite highly so found it often tedious. The soundtrack is mostly dance/club music that most of the hip young’uns listen to these days which just reminds me of trendy infomercials or the stuff you hear in the tourist coffee shops in Amsterdam. There are some attempts at humour which do hit the mark but the rest of it is old hat and more often then not quite misogynistic. Sex is featured quite a lot in this too yet they still manage to make the scenes rather unspectacular. The film takes quite a while to get Russ going on his downward spiral yet his recovery is sorted by way of a montage and all is well in his world again. The cast did a pretty good job in this mediocre thriller which I’m sure will appeal to some but it is not something I would chose to watch again.
Review by Sarah Budd