Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, across my desk today comes a Robert Parham directed film called 'Mad As Hell' As part of the full disclosure I contributed a small amount to this film, yet remain a non influencing entity. My name will be listed in the credits as Executive Producer, but it is in name only. I purposely wanted nothing to do with the creative process. I let a few reviewers view and review prior to me doing it, to give the film time to get noticed in the festival market.
Before I start the main review I need to point out a few very important aspects of 'Mad As Hell' Firstly this is a very low budget film under 25,000, but Robert pulled a few favors to keep costs down, so actually to make a film like this real world will be 100 to 150,000 USD. Secondly, this is what can be considered a gritty urban crime drama, focused on stories for the African American community, As a white man, I enjoyed the story, and thought the structure easily transitions regardless of the viewer having a potentially differing background. This film is not for people, who are used to watching only big budget films say 30 million dollars or more. My review will be brief and non spoiling, as the film is still in a festival run.
Above: Poster for February Screening of 'Mad as Hell' with awards and review stars from Easter Fan Films.
Director Robert Parham plays the lead character Michael. His character is thrown into a maelstrom, when his family is killed, and he takes the blame. The movie spends the bulk of it's time in a cat an mouse game to find the real criminal. The multi-faceted Franklin Correa wears several hats including assistant stunt coordinator, camera man and character Rocha. Actress Cynda Williams who has an extensive career including 'Mo Better Blues' and 'One False Move'.
The dynamic between Cynda and Robert in the film is deep and meaningful. The acting from the main characters is solid, but the side characters sometimes can be inconsistent. I really liked the acting from the actress playing a very small role be accosted in an ally way, she shows genuine fear in the situation.
Problems with the volume and hollowness of some of the dialogue is a bit off putting, some outside scenes of Cynda Williams and Robert Parham talking the dialogue is very soft. If you notice the cereal box on the counter is a special box of Parham Puffs! Now that, is clever.
The film is a slow build with much of the action occurring in the final 30 minutes of the movie. The slow burn works here and helps the pacing. The movie is well lit, for the most part, yet some night scenes are purposefully darker then perhaps they need to be.
The soundtrack is top notch with The Original G man and others providing tunes, great opening song and music bed.
Knoc-Turrn 'Al is the music supervisor and trust me the songs on here resonate. Including a song sung by Cynda Williams! The Original 'G-Man' of Hip Hop yes that guy, has a kick ass track called 'B Where UR'! Great musical bed and transitions.
Here is the song on the film! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zxJERnznhE
'Mad As Hell' Official Facebook (Meta) Page: https://www.facebook.com/madashellthemovie
Mad As Hell' is a MEYHAM FILMS production being distributed by Maverick Entertainment.
Check out this review from Eastern Fan Films: https://www.easternfilmfans.co.uk/mad-as-hell-review/
He has additional information on the film
The Action Elite has a cool review as well-- https://theactionelite.com/robert-parham-channels-death-wish-in-indie-feature-mad-as-hell/
I fully agree with my journalistic friends and rate 'Mad As Hell' a solid 7 out of 10, worthy of a purchase to support indie films!