Glory Hunter (2014) – By Josh Samford

When dealing with low budget independent short films, you don’t always run across stories that revolve around the world of professional sports. This is, of course, due to how hard it can be to recreate such events without an actual budget. It can be done, but it takes an investment and some very creative thinking. While I won’t say that Craig Maclachlan has created the new Rocky, throughout this review I will commend him for doing some very impressive things with a budget that probably should not have allowed him to create a short film like this.

Our film follows a gentleman named Jerry Gallagher (played by Duncan Airlie James), a English kickboxer who is about to be in a huge championship fight. His personal life, however, has turned out to be a bit of a mess. Jerry has recently been spending time with a much younger woman named Lindsey. She is beautiful, young, and is desperate to be famous as well. Unfortunately, Jerry doesn’t see how Lindsey is using him. As the fight draws closer, facts about Lindsey are soon to come out that may jeopardize Jerry’s mindset before the biggest fight of his career.

Craig Maclachlan does a wise thing with his film: he makes it less about kickboxing and more about the fighters. While that doesn’t mean he avoids all moments inside of the ring, because there are a few impressive moments in this short where the director does a decent job of recreating both a kickboxing match as well as a pre-fight press conference, the filmmaker manages to get the audience’s mind and expectations away from seeing a large spectacle with a stadium filled with people. Instead, as the movie goes along, we’re drawn to this tragic love affair that rips our protagonist apart. When the movie inevitably focuses on this aspect of our story, it’s no longer a letdown that we don’t actually see any big scenes of kickboxing.

The compositions are centered, the film is edited together tightly, and the filmmakers do their best to engage the audience with this story. While it may not be a big deal, the movie is not an overtly stylish affair. Much of what makes it to the screen could be seen as being rather ordinary. The camerawork is usually fairly static and the shots are adequately framed, but overall the movie could have used something to grab the audience by its collar. Regardless, Glory Hunter is a story-driven vehicle first and foremost, and it does everything that it hopes to do. This twenty minute short flies by and is easy to like, so I can’t help but recommend it. You can read more about the film over at the Insomnia Performance Group Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Insomnia-Performance-Group