Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer
My introduction to the Trinidad and Tobago superhero character Batchack Man (named after the “bachac” or leafcutter ant) was the thriller for the film of the same name. The trailer was an odd blend of supernatural elements, 80s-styled action and superhero story. When someone recommended the short film Missing Persons I wasn’t aware that this was also in the Batchack Man Universe (or BMU if you will). And yeah, this one also left my head swimming.
Missing Persons stars Keyon Brown, who also wrote and directed the film, and is produced by Visionaries Productions. How do I even do a plot synopsis? The film is just over 21 minutes but there is so much going on here. It opens pretty promisingly with an attractive young woman being brutally murdered by a mask-wearing weirdo (not Batchack Man, though the vigilante’s gimp-looking mask is quite shady-looking). I was like, okay, this seems a cool low budget horror. But I had only scratched the surface.
The woman is the 41st to have been murdered and had their hearts cut out. Gruesome. But wait, isn’t the name of the film Missing Persons, I hear you asking? If they found their heartless bodies, then they’re not missing., they’re murdered. Yeah, I was confused too. And then I only got more confused.
The film then throws in the Batchack Man character with his unspecified supernatural powers and he keeps talking about a previous adventure which I assume is from another film. Well he doesn’t actually talk, but he does internal monologue a lot. We then have more murders, we meet Batchack’s man supernatural allies, and we get over-the-top fight scenes with old school kung fu film sound effects. I’m not sure if the action sequences were meant to be hilarious, but I am sure that I laughed my backside off.
The film ends with a “cliffhanger” of a mysterious female character and I have zero idea what she has to do with anything. But I started confused so I guess ending confused makes sense. And then we have a post-credit character introduction, because we can’t have a superhero film without a post-credits scene. BMU, MCU, DCEU, NYU, it’s all the rage. One of those may be a college but my mind is too muddled to figure it out.
So Redmangoreaders, Missing Persons is a confusingly-titled, stiffly-acted film that was clearly made with half a shoestring budget. I thought the horror aspect was surprisingly okay and I would have liked to have seen more of that. Instead we have an overly complicated superhero-ish mess with a few moments of unintentional (or intentional) comedy. Maybe like The Room it will one day become a so-bad-it’s-good cult classic.
Editor Jules’s Score: 3 out of 10
You can check out the film for yourself below:
For Senior Writer Sommer’s review of the pilot for Trini superhero series Magonolia you can click here. Or for my review of Trini horror short Stranger Tings you can click here. And for more than 60 Caribbean film articles you can click here.
Julien “Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. I can also be found posting about TV and movie memes, news and trailers on Facebook at Movieville. And to stay on top of all Redmangoreviews articles you can like and follow us on Facebook here.