Written by: Carroll Jenkins on December 30th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2011
Director: Ken Cosentino
Writers: Mike Shimmel, Ken Cosentino
Cast: Mike Leszczynski, Adah Hagen, Lizzy BrunoPatrick Posey, Michael Shimmel, James Ventry
DVD Released: March 12th, 2013
Approximate running time: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78.1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Bloody Earth Films / Pop Cinema
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Synopsis: A struggling comic book artist creates a new character Crimson who is impervious to pain. His publisher is unimpressed and throws him out as meanwhile his sister is given a “deal she can’t refuse” on the family homestead. So Walter heads to his favorite bar where he is not only thrown out but beaten to a pulp. When he recovers he thinks he is The Crimson and becomes a crusading superhero!
This ambitious, almost epic tale begins as any comic book character mythology must, with the origin story. After that (about 30 minutes) there are no punches pulled. Well, actually, there is much violence but a substantial portion is implied rather than shown. Some fisticuffs and gore effects are present, but much is accomplished in the editing room. And be certain to note the sheets of paper scotch taped over the logos in the deli scene.
Mike Leszczynski carries the lead role well and Lizzy Bruno is especially charismatic and empathetic as his sister. Everyone else is bad people including local law enforcement. Michael Shimmel plays the youngest son of the local godfather as sympathetic and less than thrilled with his lot in life, but James Ventry is quite over-the-top as his brother. A former professional boxer, he certainly looks the part, and much of the humor in the picture comes from his rather wrong headed actions.
The film is shot with little more than ambient light and is dark in places. But this is an all-out ‘special edition’ from Bloody Earth Films, even if there are no subtitles. There is a lengthy behind the scenes featurette that really does document the care and dedication spent in the creation of this film – 3 years in the making. For example, director Ken Cosentino does all the stunt work for the Crimson character himself. Executive producer A.J. Verel is shown doing a tumble over a bar into a church bench, but that’s a piece of cake for the former champion in Karate/Kickboxing. More information and a hot photo of LIzzy Bruno can be found here.
For low budget superhero movies I would first recommend MirageMan and Blue Jean Monster, but Crimson proves that talent, creativity, and determination may be the most important factors in creating a motion picture that stands tall amongst the general dreck of modern independent cinema.