Independent Films

Looking Glass (2018)

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A man finds himself conflicted as he searches for answers in this indie thriller from the director of 80’s hits like Tex and River’s Edge.

Since the death of their child, Ray and Maggie have looked to start over. The couple take over a small motel in a desert area. Ray is still overcoming the death of his only child while Maggie is overcoming a drug addiction. The couple tend to either bicker or find themselves quite loving towards each other. They are introduced to some of the locals, including police officer Howard, and a man who comes to the motel to “relieve some stress”.

However, one fateful night will change Ray’s life forever. When a woman is murdered in one of the motel rooms, Ray finds himself questioned by Howard. As Ray searches for answers, he begins to experience a variety of issues and occurrences that threaten not only his marriage to Maggie, but perhaps his life. Ray finds himself immersed in a web of deceit, lies, and betrayal in which only he can escape by facing the demons within both himself and within the hotel.

This is a very interesting film from director Tim Hunter that brings Nicolas Cage doing a 180 from his recent performance in Mom and Dad. Where that film gives him the chance to go insane on a whole new level, the script, written by Jerry Rapp and Matthew Wilder, enables Cage to go a more emotional and dramatic route in the central role of Ray. His chemistry with co-star Robin Tunney goes both ways in terms of both loving and hating each other and it works well. It is clear these two have some serious issues and one of the questions to be answered in the film is will they stay together or will they drift apart.

The film’s central plot involves a murder mystery and what happens when Ray searches for answers. This invokes Cage to pull off a more emotional performance as he finds himself confronted on all levels. It even gets to a point where Ray is unconsciously framed for the murder that happens within the motel. However, it is clear that it’s not true because Ray is seen with his wife when the murder happens. The film brings shades of the likes of 8MM, another film he starred in, when he finds himself seeing something he never imagined in a pivotal scene, which in turns leads to a few confrontations.

There is some pretty good support in the characters of Howard, played by Marc Blucas, and Tommy, an addict in his own right, played by Ernie Lively. Where Blucas plays a police officer who seems to question Cage on all levels but is somewhat likable, Tommy is a man with an issue and in some ways, it becomes an influence on Ray in his investigation. Another pivotal role comes in the form of Jessica, who rents the room where the murder occurs, and may or may not have a connection to the case at hand. There are some nice twists and turns that keep the viewer engaged in the investigation.

Looking Glass definitely helps brings Nicolas Cage’s more emotional side as he searches for answers and finds himself facing one obstacle after another in hopes to find out who is responsible for the murder in his motel.


Momentum Pictures presents a Highland Film Group/Silver State Production Services/Kirk Shaw Production film in association with Prettybird. Director: Tim Hunter. Producers: Braxton Pope and David M. Wulf. Writers: Jerry Rapp and Matthew Wilder. Cinematography: Patrick Cady. Editing: Kristi Shimek.

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Robin Tunney, Marc Blucas, Ernie Lively, Jacque Gray, Bill Bolender, Barry Jay Minoff, Kassia Conway, Kimmy Hittelman.

Momentum Pictures will be releasing this film in select theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on February 16.


The Scent of Rain and Lightning (2017)


A young woman searches for answers but finds herself under constant threats in this adaptation of a Nancy Pickard novel.

Jody Linder has suffered for many years since the death of her parents. However, she has learned that the man who was imprisoned for the murders, Billy Croyle, has been paroled. Upset at the revelation, Jody confronts Billy’s son Collin, who was responsible for the parole when he revealed the truth that he was with his father the night of the apparent murders. Jody decides to find out what really happened to her parents the night of the murders.

As Jody begins her investigation, she finds herself going to places and meeting people who were involved in her family. She slowly begins to discover that Billy, who has gone crazy since being imprisoned and has a motive of revenge against the Linder family. When Jody finally finds herself convinced that Billy wasn’t responsible for the murders, she searches to find the truth and may find that the real murders may be closer than she ever expected.

Director Blake Robbins, along with screenwriters Casey Twenter and Jeff Robison, took Nancy Pickard’s novel and crafted an interesting tale that meshes a modern day investigation and flashbacks that slowly unveil what happened the night our lead character Jody’s parents were murdered. The film opens alone with the release of the accused murderer, Billy Croyle, played in a ultimately maniacal performance by Brad Carter.

Maika Monroe does well as the embittered Jody, who seems to have suffered quite a lot since the death of her parents. She finds herself a very angry woman, still holding onto that grudge when she confronts Collin, the son of Billy, played by Logan Miller. However, upon slowly learning that Billy may not be responsible, she decides to take up with her “rival” to find out the truth about what happened. One would expect a romance between Jody and Collin, but this is truly not the case. Instead, it is a simple case of two people learning to find out what happened.

In the flashback sequences, Justin Chatwin and Maggie Grace (who also served as a producer) play Jody’s parents, who seem to go from having a loving marriage to a tumultuous one plagued by Chatwin’s character always working on the family farm or traveling to help make money and Grace’s possible rumors of infidelity with people close to the couple. The biggest twist and shock of the film comes in the ultimately revelation of what really happened that night, which ends the film after a shocking confrontation.

The Scent of Rain and Lightning will keep viewers engaged once the story comes in full swing. A juxtaposition of flashbacks and present day, driven by the cast, really moves the story along. Add the shocking finale and you have a movie worth checking out.


SP Releasing present a No Coast Production present in association with Gerber Pictures and KP’s Remain. Director: Blake Robbins. Producers: Michael Davis, Blake Robbins, Jeff Robison, Casey Twenter, Kevin Waller, Jeff Johnson, Dan Koetting, and Maggie Grace. Writers: Casey Twenter and Jeff Robison; based on the novel by Nancy Pickard. Cinematography: Lyn Moncrief. Editing: Lauren Clark Carroll.

Cast: Maika Monroe, Logan Miller, Brad Carter, Will Patton, Bonnie Bedelia, Mark Webber, Aaron Poole, Maggie Grace, Justin Chatwin, Meg Crosbie, Jackson A. Dunn.

Entanglement (2017)

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A young man searching for the meaning of his existence finds an unexpected source of happiness in this indie dramedy from director Jason James.

Ben Layten is on the brink of insanity. Having lost his wife and not getting along well with his parents, he seems to be done with himself. After a failed suicide attempt, Ben decides to create a timeline to his life. One day while at the pharmacy for his medicine, he comes across a mysterious young woman who steals some sunglasses and offers him her number. When Ben’s father has a heart attack, he learns that the day his mom was pregnant with him, they actually had adopted a baby girl but gave her back.

Learning he almost had a sister, Ben tracks her down and finds Hanna, the same woman who he met at the pharmacy. The soon forge a bond that goes beyond the brink of becoming more than “almost siblings”. This comes in conflict with Ben’s friend and neighbor Tabby, who has felt something for Ben but is afraid to tell him. As Ben and Hanna grow closer upon learning they are connected, Ben soon learns a dark truth about his new love that is sure to change his life forever.

A very interesting tale of how we are all connected as we search for the meaning of existence, this film really brings one man’s search for the meaning of not just life, but his life. The script by Jason Filiatrault really brings to mind a sense of both insanity, sorrow, and the use of an interesting timeline that veers off in different branches as many events happen in our central character’s life.

In the role of the embittered Ben is Thomas Middleditch, who kids will recognize as the voice of Harold in the very funny Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. However, Middleditch is the driving force of the film as a man who thinks he lost it all and after failing to kill himself, decides to give himself a quest for the meaning of his life. He’s constantly finding himself challenged, especially with his divorced parents, who tell him about his “almost” sister. Ben’s parents are truly not going to win the Parents of the Year.

Jess Weixler is great as Hanna, Ben’s “almost” sister who helps Ben find the meaning of happiness. When Ben and Hanna get together, we see Ben in a world he has not faced either ever or even in a long time. While Diana Bang’s Tabby seems to be the best friend who has a crush on and is afraid to tell him, the film’s focus is more on the connection of quantum entanglement (hence the title) between Ben and Hanna. In what is even more interested to show their relationship, there are instances where the film will combine live action with animation. In one instance, Ben and Hanna are looking at animated deer in the park and in another, where they break into a pool, they find themselves swimming underwater with animated jellyfish. However, it is the film’s twist in the third act that is quite jaw-dropping and when all is revealed, it is sure to change everything, making this a great indie drama.

Entanglement is a delightful look at a miserable man, his search for the meaning of his life, and the unexpected happiness he finds that will change his life forever, all driven by great performances by Thomas Middleditch and Jess Weixler.


Dark Star Pictures present a Goodbye Productions Film. Director: Jason James. Producers: Jason James and Amber Ripley. Writer: Jason Filiatrault. Cinematography: James Liston. Editing: Jamie Alain, Gareth C. Scales, and Christopher Watson.

Cast: Thomas Middleditch, Jess Weixler, Diana Bang, Johannah Newmarch, Marilyn Norry, Randal Edwards, Jena Skodje, Shauna Johannesen, Nicole LaPlaca.

Dark Star Pictures will release this film in select theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on February 9, 2018.

Badsville (2018)

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A gang leader attempts to start a new life but finds major complications in this indie drama from director April Mullen.

For as long as it has been, the Badsville Kings and Aces have been in a major turf war. Always fighting each other, the two gangs have never reached a truce. For Wink, the leader of the Kings, the pressure has surmounted but right before his mother passes away, she asks Wink of one thing. That is, to leave Badsville and out of the gang life forever. Wink makes the decision to leave town and start a new life.

For Wink, the decision is sped up faster after he rescues Susie from the Aces and begins a relationship with her. When Wink announces his decision, it does not bode well with hot-headed member Benny. To make matters worse, the Aces have reignited their war with the Kings. When Benny decides to take charge and orders a rumble. Meanwhile, dissention with the Kings is eminent when Wink learns of a secret involving one of his own. Will Wink be finally able to make his promise to his mother and leave Badsville?

Gang films can be quite an interesting subgenre. There are gangster films, which have been immortalized by films such as The Public Enemy, The Godfather, and as recent as GoodFellas. There are street gang films, immortalized by the classic The Warriors. This film comes in the latter, but where these films tend to glorify the gangster, this film is more about a leader wanting to get out of the life once and for all and finds his life complicated both in positive and negative ways.

The duo of Ian McLaren and Benjamin Barrett co-wrote the film and star respectively as gang leader Wink and hot head Benny. McLaren does pretty well in the role of Wink, who longs to make a promise to his late mother by getting out of the gang life and starting life anew. Barrett’s Benny, on the other hands, thrives on being a King and despite having some loyalty to Wink, lets his nature gets the best of him. Tension rise between the two, threatening their long friendship.

Wink’s relationship with Susie, played by Tamara Duarte, plays an important role as it helps drive Wink’s promise to leave town. However, a highlight performance comes from Robert Knepper as Gavin, the current leader of rival gang the Aces. When he learns his son was humiliated by Wink, which leads to the relationship with Susie, he grabs his belt and thrashes his son. The erupting war just shows the level of tenacity Gavin unleashes towards the Kings as he wages war on a whole new level.

Badsville shows the complicated life of a gang leader just wanting to start his life over, but finds himself in a situation where he may be forced to go back on his word. Some great performances and tension make this a pretty good film.


Epic Pictures presents a Phillm Productions film. Director: April Mullen. Producers: David J. Phillips and Douglas Sloan. Writers: Ian McLaren and Benjamin Barrett. Cinematography: Russ De Jong. Editing: Gordon Antell.

Cast: Ian McLaren, Benjamin Barrett, Tamara Duarte, Robert Knepper, Emilio Rivera, John White, Rene Rosado, Octavio Pizano, David J. Phillips, Paul James Jordan, Saxon Trainor.

Dance Baby Dance (2018)

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A former dancer sets to live his dream and overcome the odds in this fun dancing film from filmmaker Stephen Kogon, who also stars in the lead role.

Jimmy Percer has had a dream to become a professional tap dancer. However, a knee injury took him out of the competition and despite all efforts, his knee never has fully healed. He eventually married fellow dancer Tess and got a regular job. However, he spends his free time at the studio where his wife works to continue his dream. He learns of an upcoming dance showcase and he is determined to be a part of a touring company, whose members will be chosen through the showcase.

However, despite his determination, Jimmy finds himself having some obstacles. Hector, the owner of the dance studio, won’t sponsor Jimmy because of his age and knee injury. Tess is worried Jimmy will seriously injure himself. However, that all changes when Tess’ sister Lanie and niece Kit arrive after Lanie and husband split up and Lanie falls on hard times. Kit learns about Jimmy’s talents and the two forge a bond. With the showcase coming up, will Jimmy be able to overcome the odds and get the chance to live his dream?

Shall We Dance? Dance of a Dream. These are examples of feel good films that revolve around the world of dancing and this film, from Stephen Kogon, is a terrifically made film about overcoming the odds and living your dream through hard work. The story of a man who in his prime nearly lost the chance to become a professional only to get a second chance years later barely has a tone of anger and sorrow but instead is a film that helps bring about feeling good about what one wants to do and even helping those close to you feel good in the process.

That is truly in the case of our protagonist Jimmy, played by director Kogon. Throughout the film, Jimmy’s determination constantly makes him happy. He is perhaps the ultimate likable fellow whose aspirations and determination keeps him smiling. Kogon even does all of his tap dance scenes and his chemistry with 7th Heaven star Beverly Mitchell as his wife is great but the fun piece involves his bonding scene with Hayley Shukiar as Tess’ niece Kit. The scene plays out in a tap dance battle that soon becomes perhaps a tribute to classic Hollywood tap dancing on screen.

While there are sparse comical moments from Kogon, the real comic relief comes in the form of Hector, the owner of the dance studio, played by the hilarious Carlos Alazraqui. The well-known voice actor plays it off pretty funnily as the constantly complaining owner, who doesn’t seem to have a liking for Jimmy and does everything in his power to convince him not to get in the showcase. However, Jimmy finds support not just within his family, but his boss and even two fellow dancers, Ravon and Dex.

Dance Baby Dance truly stands out as a feel good film about facing the odds and living the dream. A likable Stephen Kogon and the tap dancing sequences are fun to watch. If you want a film that just makes you feel good without expecting something mindblowing as well as enjoy some fun dancing scenes, then this is your film.


Indie Rights Movies presents a Wings of Hope production. Director: Stephen Kogon. Producers: Roy Bodner, Stephen Kogon, John Kaiser, and Travis Huff. Writer: Stephen Kogon. Cinematography: Shanele Alvarez. Editing: Jason Horton.

Cast: Beverly Mitchell, Stephen Kogon, Carlos Alazraqui, Lisa Brenner, Hayley Shukiar, Clare Grant, Isaiah Lucas, Jim Nowakowski, Jim O’Heir, Ellen Kim.

The film will make its debut at the Arena Cinelounge, Hollywood on January 19, 2018.

Crazy Famous (2017)

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Just how far would you go to get famous? For this guy, he does something extreme in this dark comedy from Paul Jarrett.

For all his life, Bob Marcus only looked for one thing: fame. However, his latest attempt, in which he jumped the fence at Camp David, lands him in a mental institution. Despite the lead doctor telling him that he should give up his dream, Bob finds himself determined. He meets Larry, an impulsive man who has a tendency to explode at random times. Larry introduces him to “Dr. Phil”, a patient who thinks he is the TV doctor.

Finally, there’s the very strange Smith, who spends his time scribbling on the walls and floors. He tells Bob that he knows where Al-Qaeda head Osama bin Laden is hiding. While everyone is convinced that bin Laden is dead, Smith knows otherwise and offers to prove it. Seeking this as an opportunity, Bob decides to go along with Smith’s plan and takes Larry and “Dr. Phil” with him. As these four successfully make their escape, they are about to go on a trip that they will never forget.

A meshing of the 1989 comedy The Dream Team with the conspiracy theory angle along with one man doing what it takes to become famous, this is a funny road trip comedy. Bob Farkas’ script has the core element of the 1989 film about four mental patients who get their free time. The only difference is that instead of a field trip, these four escape and go on a hunt by way of a conspiracy theory.

Gregory Lay’s Bob is the titular “crazy famous”, someone who will go to crazy extremes to get his fifteen minutes of fame. There is a reasoning behind Bob’s need to become famous and this is revealed in his first meeting with Ajay Naidu’s lead doctor at the mental institution. In a way, one can only feel bad for Bob, but if anyone ultimately will have to change his ways of thinking, it’s Bob himself.

The main supporting cast give Lay some great support. Victor Cruz, who has a resemblance to Jon Favreau, is hilarious as Larry, the patient with impulsive explosive disorder. Larry always tends to have it out with “Dr. Phil”, parodied quite well by David Neal Levin. Richard Short’s Smith tends to talk like a James Bond-style voice with his conspiracy theory approach, which drives the film and leads to the insane road trip. To give the film more of an intentional flair for comedy, Farkas actually brings the idea of a conspiracy in the film, with agents in the form of Alexander Cendese’s Agent Bilch and “big boss” Agent Mustang, played by Bob Jaffe.

Crazy Famous is a pretty funny meshing of The Dream Team, conspiracy theory, and a film about going to extremes to achieve your dreams. The cast, led by Gregory Lay, Richard Short, Victor Cruz, and David Neal Levin, drive the film with their roles of mental patients who attempt to prove the truth behind a conspiracy theory. The film’s 77-minute running time makes it smooth and easy to watch.


Gravitas Ventures presents a Farkas Films production. Director: Paul Jarrett. Producers: Robert Farkas and Vince P. Maggio. Writer: Robert Farkas. Cinematography: Scott Miller. Editing: Phyllis Housen.

Cast: Gregory Lay, Richard Short, Victor Cruz, David Neal Levin, Alexander Cendese, Bob Jaffe, Ajay Naidu, Jessica Renee Russell, Catherine Curtin, Tom Kemp.

The film will be released on VOD, Digital HD and DVD on January 9, 2018.

Indie Action Spotlight – January 2018


It’s that time! The first Friday of the month and we are starting the new year with a very strong Clip of the Month for the first Indie Action Spotlight of 2018!

This month’s Clip of the Month goes to the amazing Andy Long and his 2017 Hong Kong Edition Fight Reel, featuring clips from his recent film Luc Van Tiet. Long is a member of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team who recently appeared in Boyka: Undisputed alongside that film’s fight choreographer Tim Man as one of Ozerov Brothers who fight Scott Adkins‘ Boyka in a two-on-one handicap fight.

Here are this month’s selected Stunt Reels:

Paul Burke

Gui DaSilva

Irmingard Mayer

Heidi Moneymaker

Rustam Popkov

Alice Rietveld

To wrap up this month’s IAS, here are this month’s selected Short Films:

Born to Fight

The Chaos


Karate Couple

One Strike

If you want to submit your short film and/or stunt reel for the Indie Action Spotlight, send an e-mail to with the subject “Indie Action Spotlight” or you can send a direct message on WFG’s official Twitter page.

All submissions for February 2018 are due on February 1, 2018.

Madtown (2017)

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A young man comes face to face with his past while learning to accept his new life in this indie drama from Charles Moore.

Denny Briggs arrives late for what he promises will be a one-time gig as a stand-up comedian. He decides to make the audience his jury as he is on trial. He first begins with talking about how he lied on his job application for a job at Miller’s Family Restaurant. Having gotten the job, he becomes close to the owners Lloyd and Linda, fellow waiter Shaun, cook Marcel, and prep cook Sarah. However, Denny’s new life will soon find its obstacle as the past comes back in the form of his sister Madison.

Having served a twenty-year sentence for the murder of their parents, Madison has made parole. As Madison adapts to life outside of prison, Denny adapts to his new surroundings as he grows closer to Sarah, who is a young single mom to Isabella. However, when Madison decides to go back to controlling Denny and forces a move to Chicago upon him, Denny finally learns that in order to move on with his life, he must face the past and confront it before he is ever to be happy.

This is quite an interesting indie drama that is told all in flashbacks from what we are led to believe to be a seven-minute comedy gig from the main character Denny, played by an excellent Milo Ventimiglia. Denny is truly conflicted with facing his past and coming to terms with the present. The 112-minute running time allows Ventimiglia to bring a variety of emotion to the role of Denny as he grows closer to the cast of characters who he works with and yet at the same time, feels a sense of obligation to his overprotective sister Madison, played by Amanda Aday, who is the daughter of music legend Meat Loaf.

Rachel Melvin’s Sarah brings to sense a possible romance that may be worth having for the troubled Denny while John Billingsley and Bonita Fredericy’s Lloyd and Linda serve as the parental figures Denny has yearned for all his life, especially when the events that lead up to Madison’s prison stint is revealed. While Denny himself is an aspiring comic with Lenny Bruce as inspiration, Matt Lockwood’s Shaun provides the comic relief of the film in terms of the developing story while Joshua Elijah Reese’s Mandel is the big brother-type who also helps Denny feel grounded and indirectly helps him with the issues he face.

The film does offer some twists to the story where you may expect one thing to happen, but end up getting something else. This may either get fans who expect something straightforward to go up in arms, but most will likely be intrigued with the twists, especially towards the third act of the film, where it goes an totally unexpected route by the film’s end.

Madtown has a really good story about one man’s old and new lives coming together and his determination to break from his past and move on to the present, all driven by a great performance by Milo Ventimiglia.


SP Distribution presents a Two Car Garage production in association with Burning River Productions. Director: Charles Moore. Producers: Stephen R. Campanella, Liz DuChez, J. Scott Scheel, and Charles Moore. Writer: Charles Moore. Cinematography: John Turk. Editing: Charles Moore.

Cast: Milo Ventimiglia, Rachel Melvin, Amanda Aday, John Billingsley, Bonita Fredericy, Matt Lockwood, Joshua Elijah Reese, Brett Castro, Kinsley Funari, Kristina Kopf, Christopher Mele.

The film will be released on January 5, 2018 from SP Distribution.

The Final Indie Action Spotlight of 2017


The final Indie Action Spotlight of 2017 has arrived! Since its inception in August 2016, the IAS has given fans a chance to see some short films and stunt reels all in the world of action films. As we delve into 2018, we hope to present more indie action fun from newcomers and veterans who love entertaining fans with these films.

So, let’s jump right into it with this month’s Indie Action Spotlight.

Our December clip of the month is Kid Fury, directed by Hapkido master and filmmaker Jino Kangwho stars in the Fist 2 Fist feature film series. In this short film, a teen takes on different exponents of martial arts when a box entrusted to him by his master gets stolen.

Here are this month’s selected Stunt & Action Reels:

Here are this month’s selected Short Action Films:

World Film Geek hopes everyone will have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2018!!! If you are a budding action star, filmmaker, or a stunt performer and you want to submit a video, please send your links to with Indie Action Spotlight in the subject line.

As we break into 2018, we will give everyone an extra week to send your videos. The first Indie Action Spotlight for 2018 will be posted on January 12, 2018. The deadline to send your submissions for January is January 11, 2018.

To wrap up the Indie Action Spotlight of the year, we present the amazing Martial Club, who have wowed fans of the indie and martial arts fan circuit for the past few years. They had the opportunity to work with the legendary Jackie Chan for a commercial. Here is the story about this dream collaboration:

Never Leave Alive (2017)

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Pro wrestler John Hennigan finds himself hunted down in this indie action thriller, the latest version of The Most Dangerous Game.

Rick Rainsford is a popular reality TV show star whose expertise is big game hunting. However, he is known for his hard partying and drinking, sometimes making him the butt of jokes. When on a journey aboard a cruise ship, he finds himself chastised by his new photographer Anna Richards. However, when the cruise ship is attacked and eventually wrecked, Rick and Anna, along with passenger Samuel, find themselves on a seemingly deserted island.

There are two inhabitants on the island. They are former Russian military officer Colonel Zaroff and his number one man, Ivan. Ivan nurses Samuel back to health while Zaroff reveals his nature to Rick. Zaroff is a hunter himself, only he uses humans as his potential prey. He offers Rick and Anna a challenge. A boat is located on the other side of the island. If they find the boat, they will live. However, they will have to fend off booby traps as well as the wrath of both Ivan and Zaroff. Going from the hunter to hunted, Rick must find a way to bring both Anna and Samuel to safety before they all are killed.

It is clear when you see him, whether in the ring or if you has seen him in Boone the Bounty Hunter that John Hennigan, currently known as Johnny Impact in Impact Wrestling, is destined to be a potential action star. Whereas Dwayne Johnson and Dave Bautista have made it to A-list productions, there are others who have had their share of on-screen glory in more indie action fare and Hennigan comfortably fits there, especially with his latest film.

Similar to his titular character of Boone the Bounty Hunter, Hennigan plays another reality TV star. However, as Rick, we don’t get to see him hunt down in his show, but instead show the dark side of fame as he parties hard and appears to be completely drunk. Funny enough, Hennigan plays it well as the shallow celebrity type, like his character in BTBH. However, when Hennigan gets the chance to show his action side, it is a truly a road to both redemption and sobriety for this character.

Michelle Taylor does a pretty good job as photographer Anna, who starts out chastising Rick due to his hard-partying ways and yet soon finds that Rick isn’t all he appears to be and finds him to be a valuable asset and perhaps the only one to help her survive their ordeal. Eric Etebari truly has a knack for playing dastardly villains with the right material, much like his lawyer-martial arts teacher in the indie drama The Great Fight. Here, he plays the very smooth talking villain Zaroff, who warms you up, then reveals his true intentions and goes into bad guy mode to a tee. Joseph Gatt brings it on as Zaroff’s henchman, Ivan, who has both a menacing look and a bit of a conscience when it comes to certain things involving the “hunt” as seen in a pivotal scene.

Never Leave Alive is a pretty decent indie take on The Most Dangerous Game and continues to prove John Hennigan as a good indie action star. With his abilities in the ring, it is clear at some point, it would be fun to see Hennigan do a full-on martial arts action film in the future. In the meantime, wrestling fans may get a kick out of this one.


An Ante Up Productions Film. Director: Steven LaMorte. Producers: Steven LaMorte and Jonathan Lee Smith. Writer: J. Amanda Sabater. Cinematography: Ryan De Franco. Editing: Steven LaMorte and Stephen Anthony Bailey.

Cast: John Hennigan, Michelle Taylor, Eric Etebari, Joseph Gatt, J. Michael Evans, Alistair McKenzie, Jim Pacitti, Jenilee Reyes, Kelly Montgomery.