Charles Chudabala is an actor who’s been mentioned many times here having appeared in numerous films including UGLY SWEATER PARTY, 2 JENNIFER and LILITH, several of which he’s also produced. With the 5 minute short NIGHTSHADE he adds director to his list of credits.
A young girl (Leah Schaefer) is visited at night by an evil witch (Jennifer Nangle THAT NIGHT, 10/31). A Fairy Princess (Lexi Marlene) tries to save her. A final revelation puts everything into perspective.
The story itself is nothing new, another variation on the darker fairy tales that people have been telling for centuries. But that’s not as much the point as is how well it’s carried off. Chudabala, who also wrote the script, does keep it interesting. He has a good eye for the visual design and the resulting effects look good while staying basic and inexpensive. That’s always a useful talent in indie film making.
The cast does well in their roles although they’re playing rather broad stereotypes. It’s fun to watch them do it, especially Nangle who’s the Saturday morning TV version of her creation MALVOLIA: THE QUEEN OF SCREAMS. The final revelation may not be a huge shocker, but it sets up a final image that is quite poignant.
NIGHTSHADE shows that Chudabala can craft a film that holds the viewer’s attention. Hopefully, his next film will be more of a showcase for his creative writing abilities as well.