Nothing Man opens with a collection of brief film clips, some distorted, some stylized. Flashes of violence and murder. Fragments of a nightmare that the film’s protagonist Noam (Daniel Hall) wakes from on a regular basis.
These dreams are all he has of his past. He can’t remember who he is or why he has these nightmares. Like so many protagonists before him, he’s an amnesiac. But he’s going to have to find out who he is if he wants to survive.
The first feature from director Stephen Gallacher mixes elements of Memento and Dead Man’s Shoes into a solid thriller with a few surprises up its sleeve. Noam’s only friend Twink (Ric Vince) turns up dead after talking a young woman, Lana (Jennifer Jordan) out of suicide. And it seems he’s not the only suspicious death in the homeless community.
But as he digs into the killings it begins to trigger his memories. It seems his own past may not be so clean. And what is the connection to Mal (Tony Goodall, Book Of Monsters) and his crew?
Nothing Man was a long time in the making, principal photography having been done around 2012 on a budget of about $3000. I’m assuming getting funds for post-production caused a lot of the delay between that and its festival run in 2017.
It certainly shouldn’t have been a lack of quality. Despite the extremely low budget and some of the usual problems associated with it, Nothing Man is quite a good film. The script by Gallacher, Paul Butler, and Jonathan Ashdown is obvious at some points to be sure. But it pulls out several nice twists as the plot’s strands begin to come together.
The lack of funds means the action is limited to foot chases and fistfights for the most part. But I don’t think anyone expects piles of explosions and stunts in a film like this anyway. The publicity for Nothing Man may invoke Hard Target and The Most Game but that can safely be ignored and the film enjoyed for what it is.