These people give badgers a bad name.
Alex (Augie Duke) is the brains…sort of, her brother Kip (Patrick Cronen) the muscle, Jane (Sasha Higgins) is the sidekick, and Shelly (Jillian Leigh) the bait, in an ill-conceived plan to kidnap serial cheater Liam (Sam Boxleitner), and make him pay for his infidelities.
I know a bad idea when I hear one, I’ve come up with a few of my own, and the plan the characters formulate in the indy film The Badger Game, is a real stinker. But fortunately for you and me, the movie is fantastic.
Alex is a woman scorned by hot shot advertising executive Liam. She finds out that he’s not only married with children, but he’s also sleeping with a bevy of other women besides Alex. When she meets Jane, another one of Liam’s conquests, the two commiserate with one another, and Alex’s rage is so great that it shuts off all rational thought. And this lack of reason must be contagious, because Alex manages to convince Jane, her childhood friend Shelly, and her brother Kip to help her kidnap Liam, and force him to hand over 2 million dollars, or his wife and boss will find out just what kind of man he really is.
Mistake after mistake is made in The Badger Game, and it’s evident from the get go that Alex and company aren’t too bright. Besides the dumb idea of using kidnapping and extortion as a way of getting revenge, Alex also invites her ex-con brother Kip along for the ride; and that’s probably the biggest error of her error filled plan.
Let me tell you folks, I was pleasantly surprised by The Badger Games. It is well acted, and the script is solid, dropping the viewer right in the middle of things from the first scene, and throwing in a few unexpected twists to boot. This could’ve easily been one of those low budget train wrecks, but with a cast of very good actors, wonderful writing and directing from the team of Joshua Wagner and Thomas Zambeck, The Badger Game draws you in and never lets go until the bitter end.
One of my favorite scenes involves Kip and Jane. The entire movie there is some sexual tension between these two. Wagner and Zambeck make you believe that the scene is going in direction, but shifts in a dramatically different way than expected, and let me tell you, it surprised the hell out of me.
You get a whole bunch of movie on a miniscule budget with The Badger Game. What Wagner and Zambeck prove is that you can overcome any budget deficiencies if you have all the right pieces.
The Badger Game (Blu-ray) offers a 1.78:1/1080p HD transfer, and I must say it looks like it was filmed on videotape. But once the film starts, all of its technical limitations go by the wayside, and you find yourself just enjoying good cinema. The Dolby 5.1 audio is wonderful, with a perfect soundtrack that added to the creepiness, and suspense of the film. Extras are minimal, including audio commentaries and cast interviews at the Los Angeles premiere.
The Badger Game is a wonderful independent film that shows you good movies are created, not purchased.
The Badger Game (Blu-ray)
2016, Intervision, 99 minutes, NR (2015)
VIDEO: 1.78:1 (1080p) AUDIO: Dolby Digital 5.1 (English) SUBTITLES: English (SDH)
EXTRAS: Interviews, Commentaries ACCOMPLICES: IMDB, Official Site