The Pick Up (Short, 2009)
Reviewed by Morgan Elektra
Starring Georgia Kate Haege, Chris Cusano, Sergio Jones
Directed by John Carchietta and Carl Morano
Runtime: 26 Minutes
Picking up a hooker can be all kinds of dangerous. She could turn out to be dirty, and you could catch a disease. She could turn out to be a cop, and you could get arrested. Or she could turn out to be some sort of bizarre hellbeast, and you could turn out to be dinner. Three guesses on which possibility the minds behind "The Pick Up" went with.
"The Pick Up" is a slick, well produced short about a Man (Cusano), who orders a call girl (Haege) from an online site (what can't you do on the Internet these days?). He picks her up on a lonely road at night – part of the particular scenario he outlined prior to their meeting – and they head to a hotel she says she has an arrangement with. The deranged hotel manager (Jones) directs them to a room, and the two proceed to get their freak on … literally.
The premise is very basic, and to go into what happens in any more detail would not only ruin the ending but over-explain the unnecessary. It's not what's done here that will hold your interest so much as how it's done that will entertain you. The acting is all very professional. Cusano is great as a sort of nervous Nellie corporate weasel possibly up to no good – if his briefcase full of bizarre sex toys is any indication, and Haege is beautiful and mysterious as the deadly prostitute. But Jones really steals the show as the manic, overly-helpful, and demented manager of the Starlite Motel.
Writer/director team Carchietta and Morano have worked together before on a feature called Flesh for the Beast. "The Pick Up" is apparently a bite-size continuation of this story, meant to bridge to an upcoming sequel. I haven't seen the first film, but the short works fairly well as a stand-alone story. It makes no reference to the film beyond our initial introduction to Haege, in which she's leaving the house that Flesh takes place in. Carchietta and Morano obviously work very well together as the short is seamless with no apparent dichotomy to the vision. If you didn't know it was written and directed by two people, you couldn't tell from what's on screen. It made me curious to see Flesh for the Beast. If the short is any indication, it seems like it would be a rollicking, bloody good time.
Fun story, good acting, believable FX … "The Pick Up" is the complete package. Give it a shot, and it'll show you a good time.
4 out of 5
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