CAPSULE: A compulsive gambler starts placing bets with a beautiful new bookie who wants to bet on the gambler and what he will do for money. The gambler agrees to more and more perverse bets. Giles Borg directs a screenplay by Stephen Leslie. There are no special effects here, no gunshots, no explosions. It is just actors and settings in front of a camera, but the story keeps the viewers guessing even what genre it is in. Is it science fiction? Horror? Fantasy? Is it a cautionary tale? Where will the premise take the viewer? Fans of Roald Dahl will enjoy a story that could have easily come from his pen. Rating: high +1 (-4 to +4) or 6/10
It has been a while since I have seen a simple little macabre fantasy as a current film. Except for its length this is the kind of story that could have appeared on the old "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" television show or, even more likely, Roald Dahl's "Tales of the Unexpected". There are no gunshots, no explosions, and no special effects. It is just a fun and slightly creepy little morbid tale.
"Flutter" is British slang. A flutter is a small bet. It is the sort of bet that is placed early on in FLUTTER. However, it is not long before the bets become a lot more than mere flutters. Our story follows John (played by Joe Anderson) who explains how he is a smart gambler and just plays the odds intelligently. His intelligent bet-placing is not quite proving itself yet. As it is his gambling is poisoning his marriage and getting John into trouble with his bookies. He really needs money and can concentrate on very little if it does not have something to do with the dog track. He gets a tip on a dog from his dentist (Billy Zane). The bet pays off and in collecting his winnings John sees that there is a new bookie at the track, Stan (Anna Anissimova), the first woman bookie he has ever seen. He is attracted to Stan, and starts to place bets with her. But he discovers that Stan is much more interested in unconventional bets. For example, will Joe pull his own broken tooth without anesthetic to win 2000 pounds? Why does Stan want these strange bets that are losing her a lot of money? But John may be losing more than money.
Speaking of money, not a lot went into this film, because not much was needed. This shows just how much creativity can go into a low- budget film. The opening title sequence has nice animations. There is a long tracking shot that shows the viewer around the seedy world of on-track dog racing. The only actor I found familiar was Billy Zane. So the actors were not a huge expense. They are mostly good actors from Britain. The only drawback is that the voices are a little hard to make out through the British accent.
The IMDB lists FLUTTER as a 2011 film. Why it has not gotten an earlier release in the United States is one of the mysteries of this film, but not one the viewer gets much of an answer to. It should please fans of the strange in cinema. It is certainly worth checking out. I rate it a high +1 on the -4 to +4 scale or 6/10.
Film Credits: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1579951/combined
What others are saying: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/flutter_2015/
Mark R. Leeper Copyright 2015 Mark R. Leeper