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Film Review: Eating Razors (short film) (2005)

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SYNOPSIS:

EATING RAZORS (a love story) Two years after losing his wife Laura in a car crash, Trent struggles to let go.

REVIEW:

Eating Razors (also known as Eating Razors: A Love Story) is the film-making debut of writer/director Ron DeCaro (see also his short film, The White Lie, and his first full length feature, The Gateway Meat). I many ways, it represents everything one might expect from a first film made on a micro-budget. It doesn’t look perfect, the acting is shaky at best, the sound is uneven, and there are little mistakes here and there. But at the same time, there are some really cool ideas in here, and a whole lot of potential is on display right from the very first minute.

Let me introduce you to Trent. Trent (played by director DeCaro) hasn’t had an easy go of it. A while back, his wife, Laura (Emily DeCaro), was killed in a car accident, an accident that he himself survived (at least that is what seems to be implied). Since then, things have not been easy. He’s been a wreck, to say the least. He’s taken to the bottle like a college kid on a spring break binge. He’s broke. He checks his voicemail one day after waking up late to not only find a message from his boss telling him he’s fired, but also one from his new girlfriend dumping him. Makes you wonder how things could get any worse…then Trent runs out of booze.

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After calling his buddy Chad (Taylor Stillman) and catching a ride to the liquor store for a new bottle of vodka (bought with borrowed money, by the way), some metal kid gives him a CD by a band called, not coincidentally, Eating Razors (how DIY is this movie? Eating Razors is Ron DeCaro’s own band!). But did that metal kid then just disappear into thin air? They get back to Trent’s place, and this is when things start going downhill, starting with the drinking and the drugs, but getting much, much worse.

Eating Razors is a movie that blurs the line between what’s really happening and what’s happening only in our anti-hero’s head so thoroughly, by the end it’s hard to say for sure what the truth is. It’s very possible that Trent is having a complete breakdown, blacking out due to the anxiety and the alcohol, and losing touch with his own reality. It is also equally possible that Trent has just killed his buddy. But either way, the bottom line is that Trent really doesn’t care anymore, doesn’t care about himself or any harm that might befall him, and instead just wishes he could reunite with his lost soulmate.

As I mentioned at the intro, there are plenty of problems with this movie, but there are also just as many bright points. The acting is pretty weak at times, as is the dialogue, much of which is the spoken-aloud thoughts of Trent, who is alone on screen for much of the twenty-five minute running time. Two full minutes are spent showing Trent searching for enough loose change to buy more booze, and for some reason is set to goofy, Benny Hill-like music, the whole thing seeming very out of place. The story itself is not so much a complete one, but more like just a slice of Trent’s life (that’s a pun right there). But that is completely acceptable here, as we understand that this is simply one scene from a bigger story.

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I’m a big fan of what Eating Razors does. While the title is an allusion in and of itself, I’m not going to give spoilers here. But I will say that I like how the audience doesn’t really know for sure if what is happening on screen is real or not, similar to American Psycho, only here we are made to question things right away rather than at the very end. And there is some impressive blood and gore crammed into this short film, the last third or so just packed full of things you may not have expected to see from a low-budget short film. So, while it certainly isn’t perfect, Eating Razors is well worth a viewing. Just imagine what DeCaro might have been able to accomplish given a real budget to work with.

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