The Ellington Kid is one part to Vice’s recent collection of shorts. Amongst other well-received films including I love Sarah Jane and Death to the Tinman, this particular flick is a modern, less romantic take of a classic campfire urban legend.
The film was released as a debut by London based writer and director, Dan Sully. And although the piece is only 5 minutes long, the cut throat, model horror plot juxtaposed with the comical and colloquial dialogue gives the viewer an insight into Sully’s cinematic passion which at a guess would be somewhere stuck in between dark, horror and comedy.
The story involves two friends in a kebab shop, one narrating the reason of why he “only eats the chips” at said restaurant. The motive behind it involves a London gang, lots of knives and some very angry chefs. It’s evocative of stories your older brother would tell you at night, with a torch to his face and a smirk on his lips and for this Sully gives the perfect hanging ending. Adding to this, the film is well shot with the camera switching between the two friends and their tall tale, setting the scene with shots of carving knives of which are bountiful throughout the movie.
Although you could argue Sully is trying to portray some more serious issues in his narrative such as violence within London gang-culture, where the camera follows an innocent victim as he stumbles his way through London after being attacked, this is soon quashed by the obviously comical raconteur as well as the U-turn the scene takes as he falls into the hands of some rather alternative kebab shop owners. I think the point Sully is trying to push with his short is a homage to horror comedy cinematographers set in a snippet of a world he is surrounded by. The sarcastic nature of the characters combined with the heavy back landing is almost reminiscent of longer pictures such as Severance, although this is just an assumption. Overall, it’s a good attempt at a British dark comedy and the shady kink at the end, a loved technique by so many authors, is what makes this an ideal short story. Although sensitive viewers be warned, you may not be craving a greasy kebab for a little while.
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