Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 28th, 2007
Release Date: USA, 2003
Production Company: Piranha Pictures
Approximate running time: 96 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Director: Eric Thornett
Writer: Eric Thornett
Cinematography: Eric Thornett
Cast: Cash Flagg Jr., Christi Etcher, Eric Thornett, David Lee Stewart, John Paglio, Jerry Chen, Jasi Cotton Lanier, Todd Rohal, Eric Stanze, D.J. Vivona, Bette Cassatt, Skizz Cyzyk
Synopsis: Buildings disappear into the thin air and other strange occurrences plague Fifth City. Guy (Eric Thornett) is a limo driver who old school ways have him at odds with a rival group of Goth limo drivers lead by The Overlord”. One evening while contemplating suicide after his limo was destroyed by The Overlord’s henchmen Guy life is saved by a woman named Bethany (Christi Etcher) who needs a driver to take her home. Later that evening after Bethany returns home she barely escapes a near fatal beating from a pimp and with no where to go or no one to turn too she invites herself into Guy’s home and life. Needing cash she shows Guy a weird rock object she found in the street and he tells her about his friend Zen Legend (Cash Flagg Jr.) who collects anything bizarre. Will Bethany be able to raise the money she needs to leave Fifth city or will the weird object she is now in possession of be more valuable then she realizes?
In a sea of cinema that resembles all the latest clichés it is rare that one comes across anything that is not only original but also entertaining. Enter maverick filmmaker Eric Thornett whose previous film Shockheaded pushed the boundaries of meshing genres to the limit and yet the end result was a highly satisfying film which exceeded all of its limitations. Thornett’s follow up to Shockheaded a film titled Fifth City which cleverly mixes Sci-Fi, action and comedy into an intoxicating strange brew that quickly takes you under its spell.
This time around the plot, the dialog, the acting and the action sequences are more refined then Thornett’s previous films. The action scenes are all well executed and at times go slightly overboard like the scene where Chazz the pimp has both his arms broken or when Guy stop a blade from stabbing Bethany in the neck by kicking an apple at the knife thus blocking it. The film is filled with many wonderful, unique and just plain odd ball characters like The Overlord played by David Lee Stewart and his Goth henchmen. Stewart’s take on The Overlord is down right nuts as he just goes for broke in every scene he appears in.
The films lead Christi Etcher as Bethany is one of the more straight forward performances. Director Eric Thornett also appears in the film as Guy the limo driver and his dead pan delivery is pure genius. Also in the if you blink you might miss them category are Wicked Pixel’s Eric Stanze and D.J. Vivona who appear ever so briefly in the films opening. The most charismatic performer in the film is without a doubt Cash Flagg Jr. who plays a kung fu like master whose skills and knowledge are first rate. The rooftop fight scene between Cash Flagg Jr. and Eric Thornett is one of the films most memorable moments.
Humor plays a big part in this film and most of the dialog comes off as movie like or not lifelike. The characters at times just seem to go on about nothing and yet what they are saying is not only interesting it is on many occasions humorous. It is this lighthearted approach the subject material which makes the film so enjoyable. Most filmmakers often compromise or lose focus of their vision because of budget restraints. Fifth City like all of the films that director Eric Thornett has worked on they don’t suffer from this and somehow they all seem to thrive and are better because of their limitations. Ultimately is you like girls in wet clothing, martial arts, lesbians and end of the world scenarios then you should thoroughly enjoy Fifth City.