Frank the Assassin (2012) – By Josh Samford

Independent filmmakers who work within the crime genre have been prevalent since Quentin Tarantino burst onto the scene with his massive indie hit Reservoir Dogs. Knowing that budgetary restraints can be cleverly disguised within this genre, as special effects are rarely needed, it has been a favorite world for burgeoning filmmakers since the early nineties. With all of these films being made, there have been plenty of movies that have completely wore out all genre conventions. Still, when certain aspects of a genre become very well known to audiences, then it becomes perfectly suitable for parody. This is where Frank the Assassin comes in. Created by brothers Cameron and Brandon Laventure, with assistance from Michigan State University, these two have crafted an incredibly humorous short film that completely lampoons many of the tired and predictable aspects of both mob movies as well as the "lone hitman" sub-genre.

Frank the Assassin is a short comedy that takes a look at a “hitman” who can only be considered a bumbling stooge. Although he has the right intentions, he doesn’t always think things through when it comes to doing his job. We begin our film watching as he tries to coin a witty piece of dialogue before shooting his first victim, but he quickly stumbles upon a problem: his mark isn’t the guy he is supposed to kill. Apparently his real victim moved out of the apartment that he has shown up to. As things progress, the day just gets worse and worse for poor Frank.

Although comedy is always very subjective, I think most would agree that Frank the Assassin is an incredibly witty little short. With most of the humor coming from the dialogue, the plot generally stays focused on a handful of scenes. Each scene basically revolves around discussion that the Frank character finds himself having. The character doesn’t seem to do anything right, but he is played with a sincerity that doesn’t make him come across as a walking punchline. In fact, you may even feel a bit sorry for Frank by the end of the short. Still, his bad luck earns numerous laughs during this fifteen minute short.

A very solid effort from these two filmmakers. Both the filmmakers as well as the crew show a great talent for comedy, and I am very interested in seeing more of their work. Although the short tends to have a stale visual palette, the talent of the performers and the sharp writing make this a short that is certainly worth checking out. You can read more about the film from the official website located at: