blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

A Fistful of Fingers (1994, Edgar Wright)

As low-budget, semi-amateur films go… A Fistful of Fingers is on the low-end. It’s certainly not as accomplished as Desperado in terms of visual storytelling, it doesn’t have enough narrative content to fill its eighty minutes (like Clerks) and it appears just a little bit cheaper than The Evil Dead. Edgar Wright apparently spent most of his budget in the first twenty or so minutes, when his Man With No Name rip-off goes through a small English town. The film’s best when it’s playing with traditional genre conventions and that entrance and few moments in town are the film’s best, not just in terms of humor, but also in Wright’s direction. He does far better in an enclosed outdoor space then when he’s in the English wilds.

The other major problem with the rest of the film is “leading man” Graham Low. Low’s not just too amateurish to be convincing or too young, it’s his Clint Eastwood impression. It’s terrible. The second half of the film is filled with easy gags, countless references (from Lethal Weapon to Glengarry Glen Ross) and an incredibly lame story about Low and his new Indian friend, poorly played by Martin Curtis.

The beginning of the film, from the cutout animated opening credits, to the various Leone references, is genuinely witty. The second half, with Curtis and then another useless second sidekick coming in right before the end, is a bore. The only funny part in the second half is the homage to the camp in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Unfortunately, any points Wright earns with it are spent making up for the Three Stooges references.

From the beginning, I expected Fingers to be better than it was–but at least the English countryside films well.

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