Fckn Nuts Poster

Fck’n Nuts (2023) Review

Fck’n Nuts opens with a shot containing so much bright pink I thought Barbie had invaded my monitor. In the middle of all this is Sandy (Maddie Nichols, Vendetta, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), a young woman who is desperately trying to get in touch with Dan (Vincent Stalba, The Wheel of Heaven, Dangerous People).

Judging by the writing on her mirror, he’s either the last of several guys she’s juggling, or the most recent in a string of unsuccessful relationships. Either way, he’s complicated things by turning up on her doorstep before she could get him to answer the phone. The problem is, she can’t deal with the thought of him meeting her parents because, in her words, they’re Fck’n Nuts.

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This ten minute short from writer/director Sam Fox (Bad Acid, Unagi) gets attention right from the start with a look that resembles the “It’s A Good Life” segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie mixed with a touch of the Australian horror thriller The Loved One. It’s both eye catching and serves notice that this isn’t a typical short film. And it really isn’t typical, even if the screwy romantic comedy beginning may feel a bit familiar as she tries, somewhat reluctantly, to end things with him while he proclaims his love and justifies his coming by despite her warning to never come to her house.

And it really isn’t typical, even if the screwy romantic comedy beginning may feel a bit familiar as she tries, somewhat reluctantly, to end things with him while he proclaims his love and justifies his coming by despite her warning to never come here. His obvious sincerity about his feelings for her is both engaging and, vaguely, disturbing in his refusal to take no for an answer and walk away.

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The true genius though is where Fck’n Nuts goes from here. Fox takes it from funny to gross body horror in a matter of moments. But the mean by which she does it are both frightening and repellent, but in the most humorously, I’m tempted to say absurdly, way possible. The fact that some viewers, myself included, will be able to relate to either Sandy’s problem, Dan’s fate or possibly both on some level only adds to the delightful absurdity of the situation.

The cast, which also includes William E. Harris (Bill & Ted Face the Music, The Wilderness Road) and Michele Rossi (Sister Tempest, Toxic America: Election Day) as the parents, play everything straight with no scenery chewing or winking at the audience. That must have been a challenge at times, especially the film’s final shots, which look like something made to be taken over the top, but play so much better as filmed.

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Production designer Brooke H. Cellars (Pumpkyn, Violet Butterfield: Makeup Artist for the Dead) and cinematographer Daniel Waghorne, who has worked on both extreme indie films such as this and The God in My Ear as well as major productions such as No One Will Save You and The Iron Claw, deserve a lot of credit for Fck’n Nuts look. And while the script is the most important thing, I can’t imagine it working nearly as well shot against a realistic looking background.

And Fck’n Nuts does succeed, and does so as a complete film, not simply as a setup for a closing scene gotcha. I mean, it does do that quite nicely, but it never feels like that’s all there is to it. It tells a story rather than just herd the viewer along to the payoff, something many shorts fail to do.

Fck’n Nuts has just started a second round of festival dates, you can check the director’s website for more information.

Our Score
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