Addiction and Recovery?
Christopher Bradley (who you might remember as an actor in “Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss” and “Leather Jacket Love Story”) turns director is a drama about addiction and recovery. “The Trigger” is a very dark look at drugs and a side of society most of us do not to see. As I watched, I wondered how I could objectively review a film that represents so much of what I personally find abhorrent in today’s world. “The Trigger” looks at “our instinct to save each other, sometimes at the expense of our own lives.
Eric (Slade Pearce), a young hustler, has managed to secure early release from prison by informing on his drug dealer. Returning home, he immediately begins reassembling his former life, including his girlfriend, Heather (Julia Anne Severance), former pimp, Dolores (Robyne Richards) and his best client, Tommy (Daniel Kapinga). The first time we see him, he is on the road and trying to hitch a ride home. This is something of a soiled angelic look to him and it is easy to see why other men can be attracted to him but he quickly destroys that when a truck driver offers him a ride and cash for a quickie. He manages to bolt as soon as the cash is in his hands. We also see that as he goes through his personal possessions that he is armed. Any sign of tenderness and sweetness disappears quickly.
Yet it seems that there is a shred of humanity there as Eric is desperate to create his idea of a family but that dissipates in the way he does so. He tricks Tommy into getting him an apartment, a used car and a job by agreeing to be his lover. Things quickly go out of control when his past life begins to haunt him with his ex-drug dealer being brought in for questioning. Here is a young man devasted by the death of his pet dog yet ready to kill his “lover” who does not do what Eric wants.
Sometimes we forget that the purpose of film is not always entertainment and there is little of that here. This is quite obviously a low-to-zero budget gritty film with performances that are by and large mediocre at best yet there is something else that kept me watching. I felt, at times, like a voyeur who was not enjoying one bit of what he was seeing yet could not stop. I would not recommend this as a date film but I encourage everyone to see it and to think about what they saw.