Bad Fever

77 minutes

Indie small-town miserablism, heavy on the awkward silences and joggling, invasive close-ups. The protagonist is a shy but endlessly yammering schmo (Kentucker Audley) who dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian and paces around town reciting bits that are doomed to meet with embarrassed silence once he finally drags himself onstage at the local club. Much of the story involves his fumbling attempts to connect romantically with a hardened young drifter (Eleonore Hendricks) who's squatting in an abandoned school building. But there's also a last-minute encounter between the trembling hero and a sweetly solicitous call girl, which writer-director Dustin Guy Defa interrupts with the abrupt blackout that’s become an indie cliche.

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