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Sam Matheson (Torrance Coombs) has quite literally found himself saddled with ‘the job from hell’. Following a childhood obsession with Vampires,
he is at first delighted to be taken on as Simon Bolivar’s ‘Familiar’, a Familiar is basically a vampire’s Housemaid/P.A./Chef - and all round flunky. On the understanding that he will one day be turned into a vampire as a reward for loyal service, Sam is, for a while, happy in his work.
Time moves on however, and after a few years of disposing of bodies, finding victims, dressing and grooming Boliver (because of course he cannot see his own reflection – and I’d have liked to see Sam have a bit of fun with this one!), Sam is disillusioned and realises that all he really wants is his freedom back.
Of course, Boliver, used to being waited on hand and foot is not going to let him go without a fight....
For a 22 minute short The Familiar certainly packs in a good story, and because it isn’t too long it moves along at a good steady pace and holds the viewer’s interest. There’s some good comedy in there too, so kudos to Zimmerman for not taking his first film so seriously that he didn’t have fun with it. The Familiar is certainly superior to most of the short films I’ve seen on the festival circuit recently. The camera work, the direction, the writing and the performances all exceeded my expectations and I’m sure we can expect great things from Kody Zimmerman.
THE FAMILIAR (2009). Director/Writer: Kody Zimmerman. Cast: Torrance Coombs, Paul Hubbard, Rachel Sehl, Brock Shoveller, Jason Harder.