Pinching Penny, 2011.
Written and Directed by Dan Glaser.
Starring Steven Moloney, Timothy J. Meyer, Ginny Glaser and Lauren J. Wertz.
A British hypochondriac becomes addicted to consumerism and turns to crime to fund his habit, eventually hatching a plot to kidnap a girl and hold her for ransom.
The most challenging aspect about the film, Pinching Penny, is being able to keep your focus on the fast paced story that goes around several nail biting curves on its way to the finish line. Director/writer Dan Glaser puts together a plot with some peculiar characters with many different ins and outs to keep the viewer engrossed enough to want to find out what eventually happens to them all.
Fargo, North Dakota, the setting for another famous twisting plotline, is the backdrop for a Brit and a Scot who decide to get their hands dirty. The Brit, Alex (Steven Molony), is the character that this story revolves around. He is also the one that narrates a bit of the film. He informs us right from the get-go that he has an addiction, a shopping addiction to be exact. His only problem is, like many junkies, is that he lacks the funding to feed his addiction. In order to do this, and be able to eat, with the help of his friend the Scot, Murphy (Timothy J. Meyer), they decide to try to rob houses. After a couple of failed attempts and a broken nose, they run across a rather attractive girl, Teddy (Ginny Glaser) who takes hold of the reigns on their ill-led operation.
She suggests and then commits a kidnapping of a young girl named Penny (Lauren J. Wertz). Their plan is to hold her for ransom until her rich father pays up. But until then, they still have no money for food or pretty much anything else. To solve this problem, Teddy has Alex go into the business of supplying clean urine for a group of underground drug-dealing and drug-using criminals who call themselves The Pawns. After the three of them get mixed up with these collection of extra-shady types, the movie goes into hyper-drive and shifts the characters into a place of drugs, guns, cops and body parts where they’ve never been before.
I feel that the title of the film may have a double meaning. Not only for the obvious description of the storyline, kidnapping a girl named Penny, but also to signify Alex’ addiction. Not being able get a stranglehold on his inability to hold onto whatever cash he can find ultimately gets him into trouble that places not only himself, but his friend and a completely innocent girl in danger as well.
The film is also packed with plenty of humor which complements the action and death toll. The plot hits some slow moments especially during the character developments of some of The Pawn members. But other than that, the twists and turns that take place will get anyone through to the end. If you like gun-toting criminals, drug use, an attention-grabbing kidnapper/hostage relationship and oh yes, shopping addictions, then you should definitely take this ride for a spin. I give Pinching Penny “6 missing kidneys out of 10”.
“If you don’t let me out of here with this fucking record player: I swear to God I’ll fucking shoot ya!”
This review originally appeared at ScreenInvasion.