The Telemarketer (2013) – By Philip Smolen

Martin Banks (Joe Atkinson) is a dweeby traveling salesman. He goes from house-to-house and tries to sell people something they don’t want (a useless vacuum cleaner made in India). But Martin’s method of travel is quite unique. His company is on the cutting edge of technology, so they teleport him into your house whether you want him there or not. Martin can then catch you at a most inopportune moment and hopefully sell you something when you’re at your weakest. Today, however, Martin has teleported into the home of Chloe Crumb (gorgeous Cindy Maples) and caught her with her lover Jay (Rusty James). Her hulking husband Bruce (Sean Roberts) teleports home shortly thereafter and is none too happy to find his nightgown-clad wife in the presence of two other men. If Martin isn’t careful, this could be the last cold call he ever makes.

“The Telemarketer” is a real hoot. It’s a funny and spirited sci-fi short from Lunch Hour Films and Communindie Films. Jon Higgins (director) and John Cosper’s (writer) short is a devilish sci-fi twist on the classic traveling salesman movie (think of Abbott and Costello’s “Little Giant” [1946] and Red Skelton’s “The Fuller Brush Man” [1948]). This movie is fun from the opening shot as Martin’s boss (Mark Dessauer) assures the milquetoast salesman that teleportation is the wave of the future. I also loved watching Cindy Maples go through the gamut of emotions as Martin goes about his routine quite oblivious to the situation around him.

Everyone in this movie gives a pitch perfect performance. Joe Atkinson is energetic as the dimwitted Martin, while Cindy Maples and Rusty James are properly befuddled as the adulterous couple. Sean Roberts is absolutely menacing as Bruce Crumb.

Featuring an uproarious twist at the end, “The Telemarketer” is a witty and original look at a situation we find ourselves in quite often. But after watching it, I must confess that I hope that teleportation isn’t that close to being perfected.

“The Telemarketer” will go live on YouTube on July 20th, so keep an eye out for it.

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