Out: Now / Runtime: 88 minutes / Rating: N/A / Fortyfps / Director: CJ Wallis
Leah who, under the name “Candy Cummings”, performs strip shows online from her apartment for thousands of strangers every day, never fully knows the extent of the evils that could be watching on the other side of the screen. But she will soon find out…
Made on a near non-existent budget and with a tiny cast and crew, BB takes a classic concept and adds a very modern, 21st century twist to it while proving quality movies can be made with little resources.
The idea, a man becoming infatuated with a young woman from afar despite having never met her, has been seen in dozens of movies. The stalking, the harassment and the eventual kidnapping are all time worn tropes of this type of story. Infernal Cinema recently reviewed Honeymoon/Luna De Miel which touched upon similar. BB, however, adds ‘cam girls’ into the mix. These women, who perform on webcams for whoever is watching and willing to pay them to do ‘more’, have became popular in recent years. Some have became ‘celebrities’ and they have thousands of fans.
But there are risks, which is what is explored. The cam girls don’t know who is really watching, outside of a user name and tokens, and what they are truly thinking. Some viewers may take to heart the false thanks offered by the girls, believe there is a genuine attraction between themselves and want more. They nurture a fantasy of a relationship till it is not enough and they decide (or are convinced) reality is better. This is what happens to wet-behind-the-ears Leah (played by Jennifer Mae).
Hal Bowman (that name must be a wink to 2001: A Space Odyssey), played by Kristian Hanson, is one user of her cam shows. He is shown addressing his webcam, talking about how he believes he has a relationship with Candy, the online name of Leah. The character is given depth, which shines a light on his troubled mindset, as he divulges his past issues with harassing women, losing one eye, being discharged from the army and isolation. It is apparent this relationship he has is one sided and entirely in his head. Yet he is in denial. The script reflects this, as he is repeatedly heard saying lines such as “She really likes me.” and “I care for her, not like those others.”
During the run time Leah is shown going about her blossoming career as a cam girl, enjoying the money and the excesses it affords her. It is apparent she doesn’t care about any of her admirers outside of them paying her to perform when she sees fit. Hal’s growing infatuation is shown between these scenes and talk of having to meet her to convince her they are ‘meant for each other’ becomes more frequent and disturbing. It builds to the point that he starts planning to, that’s right, kidnap her.
Throughout BB director Wallis shoots the film from either the perspective of the characters webcams or in the third person. The methods are blended together in a smooth fashion, with the image on screening cutting from one to the other at a regular pace. When Candy’s cam is seen it is energetic and racy, but for Hal it is moribund and dank. It’s an effective way of adding to their personalities.
The threat that builds during the movie is slow and intensifies the more Hal’s obsession grows, too. As he self satisfyingly talks about what he is going to do to Leah the fear for her safety increases. The tension is when he will attack her, not if.
Leah is played by Jennifer Mae, who herself is an actual cam girl/model. This adds a sense of realism to the performance, Mae surely knowing how to ‘work’ the webcam and the way in which to interact with her admirers. BB is her first feature, she also co-produced, and her next goals are to travel to Bali to volunteer.
The movie is available via download, here, at a cost of $9.99. This will not only get the buyer BB, and some artwork, but audio files containing the urban inspired soundtrack.
Indie film making at it’s most productive, BB is a striking and powerful look at a modern phenomena.
Check out the original review here.
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