I started out not liking this film, the grainy film style and hand cam movements was a real turn off. But as the film went those problems started to work heavily in its favor. As I’ve stated in the past, I’m not a fan of werewolf films, with some rare exceptions, and while The Big Bad isn’t one of the rare few I love. It is one that I would say I thoroughly enjoyed.
The Big Bad opens with Frankie Ducane (Jessi Gotta) entering a dirty bar located in an equally dirty alley. As she scopes out the bar, she finds a woman, Molly (Jessica Savage) doing drugs in a bathroom stall and notices a wound on her neck. Frankie ends up falling asleep in the bar for a moment and when she wakes up, she notices the bar is now mostly empty. Molly introduces herself to Frankie and the two share in both drinks and stories. As the two become friendly, Frankie shows Molly a picture of a man she’s been looking for, Fenton Bailey (Timothy McCrown Reynolds). Molly gets upset at the sight of the picture and starts questioning Frankie on who the man is. As it turns out Molly knew Fenton and he attacked her son and her recently. He bit Molly on the neck during the fight and since she’s been feeling strange and notes that she gets angry easily. Frankie tells Molly, she may know why she feels that way, after being told Molly leaves for the bathroom. Frankie follows her after a moment and finds her in the stall having slit her wrists. Frankie quickly bandages the wounds and cleans up the blood, before sneaking her out the front by pretending they’re drunk. Outside the bar in the light of a full moon Molly semi-transforms and attack Frankie. Frankie manages to kill Molly with a silver blade and buries her body in secret. When finished, an other werewolf abducts Frankie and takes her prisoner. Though she manages to escape once, Frankie is quickly recaptured and taken to see Annabelle (Alan Rowe Kelly), a leader of the werewolves. Annabelle cuts out one of Frankie’s eyes, so that she can see again herself. While being tortured Frankie manages to free herself and kill Annabelle, after tearing her own eye out of her. While escaping, Frankie finds clues that lead her to Fenton and their inevitable confrontation.
The first thirty minutes are rather hard to sit through. Not that it’s all that bad, Jessi Gotta just needs time to grow on you. The camera style is another aspect that needs time to grow on you. The Big Bad is a film that doesn’t talk down to you by throwing a flashy montage across the screen to explain everything to you. The Big Bad doesn’t explain things. it expects you to pay attention and figure out what’s going on, on your own.
The thing I liked most about this film, well other than Jessi Gotta, is how the violence feels extremely personal. This is due to a couple of factors, chief of which is the camera work. While it didn’t work well for the bar scene, it excelled in the violence oriented scenes. It’s the gritty closeness that makes it work so well.
Final thoughts, Jessi Gotta. She’s the main actress, producer and screenwriter. With this being her first feature-length film and her second They Will Outlive Us All being her second, released in 2013 and is a film I’ve added my to see list. It’s not often I enjoy a werewolf film, it’s less often that I find a new writer/actress whose work is worth following. 7/10