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By midlandsmovies, May 29 2019 02:09PM



Socks and Robbers


Directed and written by David Lilley


2019


“Stitched up and totally stuffed”.


Produced over the last couple of years in Nottingham, Socks and Robbers is a new comedy crime short that asks audiences to dip their toes into places I’m sure they’ve never been before.


The film opens as a white van pulls to a screeching halt outside an extravagant bank which is cross-cut with black and white security footage of the tellers and customers going about their business inside. An impressive location, it’s great to see the filmmakers have secured a suitably old fashioned building to give their local production some swanky Hollywood style.


As a gang of smart men enter we get further cinematic nods, this time to the guns and suits of Heat which in turn was an influence on The Dark Knight – but here the clown masks are replaced by sock puppet heads. That’s right, sock puppets. It’s here too we get to enjoy a good sound mix from Alex Stroud – which combines comedy effects with the Hans Zimmer-style score from Matthew S Cooper with its drawn-out droning notes and pulsing bass.


Director David Lilley also gives a nod to another definitive gangster flick, Snatch. As rock music kicks in, we freeze frame on each member to get their name in colourful fonts. The gang are made up of Gout (Pete Bennett), Sniffer (David Chabeaux), Hammer Toe (Andy Batson) and Bunion (A.J. Stevenson) who have four suitably foot-centric nicknames, and whose heads range from a torn teddy look to a classic sock puppet.


There’s no dialogue from the gang – they speak in “squeaky” vocalisations like Sooty – but we do get yellow-font subtitles which seemed to nod to Tarantino. More of whose work will be an inspiration later.


Although 3 of the 4 are actors with woollen masks, one gang member is a visual effect of a real sock-puppet with the actor’s head replaced in post-production which is very impressive for a local project. In fact all the technical elements from sound, vfx, lighting and more are all excellently disciplined and used fittingly.


As terrified staff and customers kneel on floor in fear, Hammer Toe torments a female teller but his cohort attempts to convince him to stop. However, his mask is torn off and then he is knocked out but the butt of a gun. Again, some fantastic, and fantastical special effects are used as his clothes are removed and an ingenious falling scene ends with him dropping through space and sky before landing in a bin – and into his own flashback!


Removing himself from the trash, he arrives at an American diner with a surf-style soundtrack - again echoing Tarantino’s work. And as he sits in a booth and comically looks at prison mug shots of more sock puppets we discover that the man is an undercover cop – evoking Reservoir Dogs’ Mr. Orange.


Regaining consciousness on the bank floor we return to the heist and the unmasked man is revealed to be a cop to the gang itself but soon their plan goes haywire as the bungling group finally expose to each other who they really are. But things go from bad to worse when another final twist puts them into an even more dangerous predicament at the film’s conclusion.


Socks and Robbers ends up being a fabulously bizarre short with tremendous ideas wrapped in a (very) eclectic package. Fun-filled and funny, the short’s 7-minutes are a warm homage to a host of Hollywood heist films. And as it echoes the pulpiest of fictions, Socks and Robbers both wrong-foots you and keeps you on your toes as it entertains from the outset.



Michael Sales





By midlandsmovies, Jul 12 2017 05:55PM



SOCKS AND ROBBERS


“Darned criminals, stitched up good and proper!”


Midlands Movies uncovers one of the region’s most surreal premises as we take a look at upcoming comedy 'Socks and Robbers'.


‘Socks and Robbers’ is a short dark comic heist film coming in from Nottingham which follows a gang of daring, sock headed robbers who hold up a bank.


However, what the robbers don’t know is that one of them is an undercover cop. Directed by the award winning director David Lilley who says the film boasts “more twists than pages”, ‘Socks and Robbers’ is described as a rollercoaster of a story that will keep audiences guessing to the very end.


With a planned release for 2017, this Midlands film spans multiple genres and is part-gangster, part-horror but all comedy and will be released via Loonatik and Drinks productions. This group of filmmakers make a variety of short films and although they say they “don’t make money”, they add that “often people watch our films and say nice things”.


Along with David Lilley, Stephen Gray forms the creative core of Loonatik & Drinks and the duo have been working together for over 15 years, first on music and then film projects. Initial collaborations were loosely planned and informal but over the past couple of years they have worked even closer together with both being fans of the cult B-movie genre and classic horror fiction.


BIFA Nominated in 2006 and winner of a Cofilmic Audience Award in 2011, the Nottingham friends have taken their style for this film from genre classics such as ‘Fargo’, ‘Reservoir Dogs’, ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ and ‘The Mighty Boosh’.


The film will be produced by Jenn Day and the whole production can be followed on the official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/socksandrobbers/about/?ref=page_internal


Also check out theLoonatik and Drinks page for info on previous projects, watch previous shorts and more: http://www.loonatikanddrinks.com


And you can view David Lilley's director showreel below on VIMEO:




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