Name: Fire City: End of Days (2015)
IMDb: link to Fire City page
Genres: Fantasy. Country of origin: USA.
Cast: Tobias Jelinek as Atum Vine, Keely Aloña as Sara, Danielle Chuchran as Cornelia, Kimberley Leemans as Amber, Eric Edwards as Ford, Derrick L. McMillon as Andre, Kristin Minter as Jane, Harry Shum Jr as Frank, Jen Oda as Lisa, Brionne Davis as Tripp, Simon Sorrells as Mace, Pele Kizy as Helo, Bob Burns as Archie, Kathy Burns as Ruth.
Directed by: Tom Woodruff, Jr. Written by: Michael Hayes and Brian Lubocki.
The initial tableaux:
In a poor rental building reside humans and demons. The humans are not aware of the demons, who feed off the misery of the humans.
On the human side, in one apartment are Frank and Lisa. Frank has rage issues and beats up Lisa now and then. In another apartment are 11 year old Sara, daughter of Jane. Jane is a chronic drunk who periodically passes out before sexually satisfying live-in boyfriend Andre, who is not Sara's father. Archie lives in a third apartment with Ruth, but treats his despair regarding his life with alcohol and Amber's attention on the side.
On the demon side, Tripp, Mace, and Helo are the same demon type and live together somewhat contentiously in one apartment. The bulky demon Ford is older and studies 'demon science' whatever that is, and spends a lot of time trying to manufacture good luck for himself. Cornelia lives by herself, is an 'interpreter', and has lots of paraphernalia for divination. Amber lives alone, and feeds off the despair of men when she has sex with them.
The protagonist is Atum Vine who appears as human to the humans; to them he's the super. The demons see him as a demon, and see him as the one who guarantees misery, or lacking that, some fresh drugs.
Delineation of conflicts:
Very early in the film, Sara runs from Andre, who traps her in the basement. He is enraged that Jane has passed out, and threatens Sara with rape. Vine intervenes since this might disrupt the balance. Vine does not like the cops in his building, for one thing.
Unfortunately for the demons, the real reason that Vine intervened was that he felt compassion for Sara. That odd change in this demon heart breaks everything.
There is a lot of consternation over this, especially after Cornelia diagnoses that Vine is the problem. Then it hits the fan.
Resolution: Despite resistance from all other demon parties, Vine needs to create a new balance. Will he get any help on this?
One line summary: Chaos generated by a demon with a kind heart.
Cinematography: 6/10 Most of the video was pretty poor, as in VHS poor. The one exception was the long full-frontal nude scene featuring the Amber character attempting a seduction. That was bright, well focused, and nicely framed. Go figure. The set design was mostly dinge and grunge, but that fit in with the demons eat despair theme early on.
Sound: 5/10 Meh. Nothing to write home about
Acting: 6/10 The 1950s rubber suits turned me off for quite a while, but the actors' abilities shone through after a while. The actors behind Vine, Cornelia, and Sara were especially good. Quite a few other performances were muted by the rubber suits, though.
Screenplay: 7/10 It's hard to let go of the rubbers suits, but this was a good story otherwise nicely told.
Final rating: 6/10 The film had a much better story than the set design and costumes would indicate. The movie is definitely not for kids.