Stars: Gerald Dewey, Swizyzinna, London Kim, Doris Morgado, Tony Bafaloukas and Eddie Deezen
|This film was an official selection at the Phoenix Film Festival in 2015. Here's an index to my reviews of 2015 films.|
|This film was a submission to one of the IFP Phoenix film challenges in the 2014-15 season. Here's an index to my reviews of 2014-15 submissions.|
Flight Fright may well be the first IFP Phoenix film challenge entry to be shot in Hollywood, because Jim booked Air Hollywood Studios for the day so he could shoot on an actual set. The smaller plane we shot on sits right next to the bigger one that was used for Airplane! and so many other films since, including Sharknado 2: The Second One. The cast and crew were predominantly sourced from Jim's previous film, the superb hard hitting science fiction short, The Class Analysis, and it surely wouldn't have taken the IFP judges long to vote Gerald Dewey and Swisyzinna best actor and actress respectively. They're the heart of the picture, even if neither is the most recognisable face on screen. No, that's not me; my left arm was once again my most prominent attribute. It's Eddie Deezen, who most may know from The Polar Express or the Grease movies, but I still remember from WarGames and Teenage Exorcist. He has a cameo sitting next to Jim's lovely wife, Karen, and I'm not saying any of this just so I can get into his next film. Honest.
Of course, knowing Politano's penchant for classic sci-fi, both the good stuff and the truly godawful stuff, it won't be too surprising to discover that this has a consistent Twilight Zone sort of feel to it and he nails it pretty well. Bafaloukas, the inveterate improvising scenestealer from Love Sucks and The Sisters of St Mary's, does his level best to steal this one too but he's hindered by being stuck on the other side of the glass where we can't hear him. London Kim, like Dewey, Morgado and a bunch of extras, a key player in The Class Analysis, is excellent here too but doesn't get screen time enough to do justice to his role as the captain; Eddie Deezen gets much more in his cameo slot, with two memorable scenes with Morgado. Technically this is accomplished, the antithesis of Love Sucks, even if the version screened on the night was annoyingly dark; the strong score sadly not acknowledged in its five awards. It's really all about the idea though, which is what it is: funny and enjoyable but without the substance of The Class Analysis.