At a Memphis, Tennessee, rented house (where the film was shot), Eddie (writer, director, actor, producer, editor Allen C. Gardner), a sensible high school English teacher, is having that ubiquitous attack of the ol’ “cold feet” with his impending marriage to Jenny. And you know what that means: first comes love, then comes marriage . . . then mortgages, kids, and, most likely divorce. So it’s time for one last blow out with the guys before Eddie becomes a soccer dad and mini-van pilot, and overall pompatus-prisoner of love. And, with that, his motley crew of best friends rent a home from an affable gent named Oscar (the familiar and welcomed John Speredakos, who got his start with Kevin Smith in Jersey Girl and multiple appearances in the Law & Order franchise; you know me and my L & O fetish!).
Now, Eddie’s a good boy. He loves his to-be wife (well . . .). And that means, to the chagrin of his buddies: no strippers. But a slutty nurse-uniformed Courtney shows up — that none of Eddie’s buddies invited. And guess who’s hooking up (emotionally, natch) with the stripper: Eddie. And Eddie confides to Courtney that, while he loves Jenny, he’s hot for his friend Kim, a fellow teacher.
Uh, Eddie, a piece of advice: never confide in hookers. This isn’t Milk Money or Pretty Woman. You’re a character in Cold Feet, bro. Didn’t you read the screenplay you’re in? There’s no kind-hearted hookers here. . . .
Yep! The mystery-hired Courtney the Nurse texts Kim, steals all of the smart devices and laptops in the house — and stabs herself in the heart. (Da-frack? Okay, Oscar, what’s your game?) And Eddie and the guys can’t call the cops. And when they try to leave the house to go to the police — a sniper fires a warning shot. Then, when they hunker down in the house to avoid the sniper, a pissed off ghost shows up. (Oops, sorry Oscar . . . well, maybe not.)
Yeah, there’s nothing quite like a dead hooker, a sniper, and a ghost to chill one’s debauched heels and test those delusional, “tight” bounds of friendship. For when that ship starts to sink, be prepared to be the only rodent (Or is that red herring?) left on deck.
Cold Feet ended up being a well-written not-sure-where-this-is-going surprise. If Judd Apatow and Sam Raimi got into a room and clashed their propensities for raunch and cabins — and peeled the fishy-oily newspapers off a few of Dario Argento’s red herrings — you’d be inside the cabin environs of this, the seventh writing-directing effort of Allan C. Gardner. (Gardner co-directed with his friend Brad Ellis; their mutual friend Laura Jean Hocking served as editor.) Only not as tasteless-funny as an Apatow flick. And not as bloody-campy as a Raimi flick. We’ve been there and are not “noseblind” to those frames of sun-rotting, scaly aquatic celluloid.
Now, that’s a good thing, because that’s what you expect to happen in Cold Feet, but Gardner’s adept at the Final Draft change-up to give us the unexpected. And in the competitive, stream-clogged world of the VOD environs in the digital ethers, we need the unexpected to assure us those credit card charges for our VOD movie fixes isn’t money flushed down the digital drain. Gardner may or may not have used Apatow, Raimi, and Argento (just my smarmy, critical cortex a-sparkin’) as a jump-off point, but he checked the expiration dates on his influences to give us a Febreze-fresh flick.
Cold Feet was recently nominated for “Best Feature Film” and “Best Writing for a Feature Film” at the 2019 NOLA Horror Film Fest — so if that doesn’t tell you this is a quality film, then nothing will. Old School Pictures and Open Dialogue Productions is currently in the film markets seeking distribution and you can stay abreast of when it will debut on various PPV and VOD platforms via the Cold Feet Facebook page. Until then, you can watch Allen C. Gardner’s other films over on Amazon Prime.
And Allen isn’t a guy who sits around and lets his heels cool. He’s currently in post-production on the comedy/drama Baby, Come Home, and in the pre-production stages on the country music-fueled drama Breaker Breaker (no, there’s no Chuck Norris arse-kicking . . . at least we don’t think there is!), the serial killer thriller (say that three-times fast) Burn It Down, the horror-thriller Sold (vacation-white slavery or a haunted trinket/home?), and the dating app-themed dramedy Data Date Sole Mate. Of course, when those films are completed, you’ll read those reviews first, right here on B&S About Movies, where we not only coddle the obscure and the forgotten films of the VHS, UHF, and Drive-In yesteryears, but we dole out the emoji hugs for unsung, indie films, as well.
And we emoji-love Cold Feet. But not like Quentin Tarantino. That would be, like weird.
Disclaimer: We were provided a screener for the film. That has no bearing on our review.