(BODY) PARTS AND MINDS
Director: Jeremiah Kipp
Screenplay: Ashley Tyler
Review: RJ Bland
Jeremiah Kipp has been a rather prolific film-maker over the last five or six years. A whole sleuth of impressive shorts including The Minions, Coma and Slapface have been punctuated by several genre features including vampire flick Theresa and Allison and Blake Wake – a docuhorror starring Nana Gouveia. Although currently in post-production on the feature length adaptation of the award winning Slapface (starring Lukas Hassel), he's still managing to find the time to add to his short film portfolio (hey, you gotta keep busy right?!). The latest of these is a concept driven little horror called 'Perfect'.
Audrey (Ashley Tyler), an attractive and apparently single woman is on the lookout for the perfect man (sorry ladies, I'm taken!). However, the reality is that the odds on someone looking exactly the way you want are pretty slim, let's be honest. So what's a girl to do? Settle for someone else? Pfff, life's too short for that! Plus in today's social media age there are apps for finding potential partners. And when we meet up with Audrey, that's exactly what she's doing. However, when her date shows up, she's less than impressed as his eyes don't look half as good in real life (bloody filters eh?). She tells him to go away and soon switches her attention to the handsome bartender, who also has rather dreamy looking eyes? Why's she so obsessed about the eyes, I hear you ask? Well, that's because she's already harvested body parts from a few other blokes and is looking for the right pair of eyes to complete the look! As she lures the bartender back to her place, he has no idea what's in store for him...
Those familiar with the Frankenstein mythology or even more modern cult classics like 'Pieces' will be familiar with the themes explored here. However, whilst the former was about the dangers of science and playing God and the latter was about a sexual deviant carving up women to create a human jigsaw, Perfect plays with the concept in a much more modern way and one that is more poignant for today's culture of superficiality. Unobtainable 'perfection' and the pursuit of it has undoubtedly had a negative effect on young women in particular, but Audrey's obsession with her own looks and image are non existent here. Her happiness is not linked to any interior angst – it's tied up instead in her desire for a perfect partner. This obsession has clearly turned into something rather more disturbing and although Perfect is a mixture of ultra black comedy and gore, social commentary still courses through its veins.
In a nine minute film, you're only going to be able to squeeze in so much. What we do get is a cold hard (albeit slightly satirical) look at a serial killer who has lost her grip on the real world and humanity itself. We don't have enough time to understand why she is the way she is but those unanswered questions just make it all the more intriguing. We also get a lot of blood and gore and Audrey's detachment from her actions only add to the sense of macabre.
From a technical perspective, the film is what you would expect from a Director as experienced as Kipp. His short movies often revel in the dark, weird side of human nature. His calm, measured style is a perfect partner to the twisted little script and central performance from Ashley Tyler, who really does give off a real sense of misanthropic menace as the unhinged lead. Rumour has it that she has plans to develop Perfect into a feature length film - and with a host of unanswered questions and a rather open ending, it feels like all the ingredients are there to explore this character and her world in more detail.