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COMFORTING SKIN
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Reviewed by: Zombie Boy

Directed by: Derek Franson

Starring:
Victoria Bidewell
Tygh Runyan
Jane Sowerby

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
An unbalanced young woman develops an unhealthy obsession with her new tattoo.
Is it good movie?
Recently released from a stint in a psychiatric facility, Koffie is trying to put her life back together. She's living with her socially stunted roommate and best friend, Nathan; working two crappy jobs; trying to reconnect with her much younger sister; and frequenting nightlife establishments with her aging, skanky friend, Synthia. She claims to be doing well, but is really feeling unfulfilled emotionally and sexually, and tries to cut through the numbness one night by getting her first tattoo. Mistake.

As it turns out, Koffie is so intensely lonely and pathologically self-pitying that she actually begins a love affair with her tattoo. I'll leave the details of that to your imagination, but the seemingly idiotic premise is actually handled rather well, partly due to the SFX involving the tat, but mostly due to Victoria Bidewell's fearless performance as Koffie. She has to portray mental illness and addiction behavior while being naked a good amount of the time.

Unfortunately, the slow build up that I appreciated in the beginning, which did a great job of setting up all the characters, never really speeds up much and starts to bog down the film. This would have worked really well as a creepy short film, but I'm not so sure there is enough material to merit an over 90-minute run time. There' s a weird dominance lesbian angle between Synthia and Koffie at one point that I struggled to connect to the other themes of the film, and a third act that's feels like a collection of disjointed images until the forced climax.

Finally, while I definitely found this to be an interesting character study of a mentally ill woman driven to a desperate fantasy, she is never really driven to desperate acts. I never felt any danger in the film, I never felt that pit in my stomach like something really bad was going to happen and I didn't want it to. As a whole the film feels to be like a string of missed opportunities.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen, 2.35:1.

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0, no subtitles. Special kudos to Alain Mayrand for the awesome score.
The Extras
Other than some forced trailers upon DVD insertion, nada.
Last Call
I wish I had a better overall opinion to report about this film, because it has a lot of great aspects. Victoria Bidwell does an excellent job as a maladjusted, lonely woman who retreats into a bizarre fantasy relationship to get the love she feels she deserves but can't find. Unfortunately there just wasn't enough meat here to go the distance, and what would have been a great short film feels like a stretched out, bogged-down feature film. Still worth a watch, but not what it could have been.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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