It’s easy to see why Sam Trammell (True Blood) collaborated on the story for his latest effort with indie director/screenwriter Tim McCann (White Rabbit). His role of Sonny — a formerly successful, once-married businessman who has bottomed out from an all-consuming drug addiction — is the sort that actors love to play. But while Trammell delivers a versatile, forceful performance, All Mistakes Buried (seen on the festival circuit under the more prosaic title The Aftermath) has an all-too-familiar feel.
Desperately broke, living in a cheap hotel and addicted to both alcohol and drugs, Sonny is a lost cause. Scenes from his troubled marriage to Jennifer (Missy Yager), revealed in flashbacks, illustrate that he had no small part in its disintegration. Now he desperately wants her back, but she won’t talk to him and her family gives him the cold shoulder.
His life takes an even more dangerous turn when, during a drug-induced haze, he decides to patronize a hooker. Upon arriving at her place of illicit business, he’s upset to discover that she looks nothing like the newspaper ad photo. He refuses to pay her, attracting the violent ire of her pimp “Big Black,” who seizes the expensive necklace which Sammy had bought to offer as an appeasement to his estranged wife.
Desperate to retrieve it, Sammy throws himself into the underbelly crime scene of the rundown Louisiana environs, running afoul of Franki (Graceland‘s Vanessa Ferlito), a powerful madam with whom, it turns out, he’s had previous dealings.
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Director McCann provides a strong sense of seedy, sweaty atmosphere, aided by Alan McIntyre Smith’s expertly hazy cinematography. And Trammell — who in true cinematic fashion is the sort of desperate drug addict who hasn’t skipped any gym appointments — is charismatically compelling as the tortured anti-hero with whom you can’t help but identify and whose travails are movingly echoed by the haunting Marian Anderson spirituals on the soundtrack. But despite the vivid evocation of its central character’s helpless self-destruction, All Mistakes Buried offers little that we haven’t seen before.
Distributor: Breaking Glass Pictures
Production: SSS Entertainment
Cast: Sam Trammell, Vanessa Ferlito, Missy Yager, Nick Loeb
Director: Tim McCann
Screenwriters: Tim McCann, Shaun S. Sanghani
Producers: Benjamin Brant Bickham, Shaun S. Sanghani
Executive producers: Shaun S. Sanghani
Director of photography: Alan McIntyre Smith
Production designer: Palmer Schallon
Editors: Chris Kursel, Tim McCann
Costume designer: Toby Bronson
Composer: John Vincent McCauley
Casting: Tamie Carpenter
Not rated, 84 minutes