A review by Judith Furlow – Smash or Trash Movie Reviewer ©2011
Starring: Brian St. August and Alfred Guy
With: Victoria Lynn, Kim Hoang, Wayne Shipley, Will Haza, Connie Lamothe, Steve Rifkin, Robert Long II, and Bob Clark
Director of Photography: Jeff Herberger
Production Design: Robert Long II
Story: Ryan Thomas
Screenplay: Steve Rifkin
Key Production Assistant: Jason Patrick Presson
Makeup: Kate Presson
On Set Photographer: Claire Brown
Produced and Directed by Lee Doll
“The Fixer” opens with the telling of disgraced District Attorney William Lawson (Brian St. August), who has fallen on hard times after the murder of his father. He is then befriended by Master Zen Martial Artist Yeb-beb (Alfred Guy). Yeb-beb takes in Lawson and attempts to school him on all things Zen. During an afternoon at Yeb-beb’s home, Lawson is accidentally electrocuted while holding a karmic emblem, giving him the powers of empathy.
Flashback 10 years earlier as two competing martial art studio owners engage in a fight to see which school stays open. One of them loses. Back to present day and we find that Lawson and Yeb-beb have inadvertently stumbled upon a teenage girl (Victoria Lynn) fleeing a shop – which she has just shop-lifted from – and discovers that she is in danger simply because of Lawson’s new found powers (he “feels” her emotions). Our heroic duo pursue the girl, discover that she is actually the daughter of a woman (Connie Lamothe) that Lawson has known for some time, and find that she is being held against her will by an evil gang of martial artists.
“The Fixer” is a quirky movie that I found to be a bit entertaining. It reminded me of an old detective/buddy show from the 70s. I really liked the pairing of the two main characters. They worked well off of each other. Yeb-beb always trying to talk some sense into Lawson. There was considerable effort to make every character in the film interesting and I liked that. A photographer friend (Steve Rifkin) of Lawson’s is over-the-top with his hip slang, the cop that apprehends Lawson (Robert Long II) is goofy, and the police lieutenant (Wayne Shipley) is tough and sympathetic. There were a lot of good performances by everyone in the film and it was great to recognize scenes in D.C., Ellicott City and Baltimore. A good soundtrack added quite a bit to the film as well.
On the down side I felt that some of the camera angles in certain scenes were jerky trying to zoom in for a closer shot, or the actors were slightly out of frame. The plot is a bit far fetched, and I didn’t think it was necessary to give the main character the power of empathy. Not exactly a super power many people would imagine to be helpful. Lawson also has the capability to influence people with his empathic thoughts, not just feel their emotions. That seemed a little useless to me and it didn’t seem to work too well for him.
Yeb-beb, being zen and all, wore a gem on his forehead that – although kind of interesting for the character – was obviously a pendant from a necklace. The metal loop for the chain was still attached to the top of the pendant, and in other scenes the loop is gone. Maybe someone from wardrobe noticed it and decided to fix it during filming. The gem was a good idea, but the loop drove me crazy. One unnecessary scene at a music store failed at an attempt for some comic relief and why it was filled with nothing but women was lost on me.
Extras on this DVD include: trailers, outtake reel, and a FIXER music video performed by Louanna Lee.
Judy’s Final Verdict – 5/10 Martial Arts Battles: Not a bad flick, a valiant effort that might keep you entertained for 55 minutes.
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About the reviewer: Judith Furlow is an actress/model from the Baltimore, MD area. She was asked to come on board the Smash or Trash team to take on the movie reviews – so that they would come out on a more regular basis on the website. An avid horror movie fan, she can be seen in such films as FEAR OF CLOWNS and GARDEN OF HEDON.