When justice fails to serve its purpose what is there left to be done? An ex-policeman turns to a vigilante killer by the name of Bad Sheriff hunting down those who have committed crimes or injustices. But as he walks into a bar to pick-up his girlfriend and leave the town forever, a last confrontation is expecting him.
Ben Bernschneider’s ‘Bad Sheriff’ is a surprising and pleasant appearance on our festival’s list. The simple straightforward script nostalgically remembers of the 80’s action flicks… the characters’ inner dramas remind us so well of the policemen archetypes going rogue to settle scores. The action genre fans will love it for its eccentric personages playing it by the rules of the old fashioned type of plot but for its capacity to entertain with funky modern elements too.
The Bad Sheriff is in fact a victim of his own: by assuming himself the condition of the ‘purifier’ he is in fact sealing his destiny in a direction that comes with great costs and he maybe starts to become aware of it but he is hoping at the same time that he will get away with it. Do not be fooled though, it is not the script that brings this film forward: it is the outstanding vision of the director. The first enhancer of senses is cinematography. Highly stylised – like we’ve rarely witnessed in our festival – cinematography is simply ‘raving’. Beyond the beautiful framing hues of purple and blue coalesce in a mad visual feast to the delight of the public’s eyes sketching a world of rare intensity and literally establishing a nostalgic mood for the story (maybe that blue isn’t random after all). It is hard not to observe that cinematography is very special and the lighting plays an important role in this.
The second big booster of senses – besides the delicious acting – is the music which in our opinion is stunning. The vibe of the 80’s is back and Ben Bernschneider is the one who brought it back. The music is not only fitting, playing an absolutely vital role in building the mood of the film, but it is also undeniably good mixing dynamic rhythms with a subtle, moodier musical line performed at keyboards.
‘Bad Sheriff’ is with no doubt a recommendation we are making wholeheartedly. For its genuine approach, Ben Bernschneider’s ‘Bad Sheriff’ has been awarded the 3rd Place for Best Short Film Of January 2017 at TMFF.