Cheap Thrills

“Cheap Thrills ultimately delivers its titular promise again and again.”— Eric Kohn, Indiewire

Director: E.L. Katz
Year: 2013
Country: USA
Running time: 87 mins
Censor Rating: R18 - violence, offensive language, drug use, sex scenes
Genres: Comedy

Producers: Travis Stevens, Gabriel Cowan, John Suits
Screenplay: Trent Haaga, David Chirchirillo
Photography: Sebastian Winterø, Andrew Wheeler
Editor: Brody Gusar
Production designer: Melisa Jusufi
Costume designer: Kelsey Stengle
Sound: Joe Barrucco
Music: Mads Heldtberg

With: Pat Healy (Craig), Ethan Embry (Vince), Sara Paxton (Violet), David Koechner (Colin), Amanda Fuller (Audrey)

Festivals: SXSW 2013

How far would you go for some free money? Would you walk naked through a bar for $100? Would you punch a stranger's face for $200? It's always interesting for audiences to ponder what they’d do in hypothetical situations, which is exactly why filmmakers have so much fun with dark and devilish exercises like Cheap Thrills. This deftly directed four-character morality tale by Evan Katz focuses on two ‘haves’ (David Koechner and Sara Paxton) and two ‘have nots’ (Ethan Embry and Pat Healy) who spend one thoroughly disturbing evening together. To say more would spoil the serpentine fun of the screenplay, but with the small ensemble firing on all cylinders and the stakes being raised at every unpredictable plot turn... well, let's just say the film earns its title, and then some. — Ant Timpson

“Class warfare comes perversely home in Cheap Thrills, a fiendish, fierce, and funny morality tale about the true value of money. It's absolutely convincing, even though it shouldn't be. 

The film explores the tangled relationship between the idle rich and the working poor, giving fresh answers to age-old questions: How far are you willing to go to provide for your family? What is the dollar value of pride and/or humiliation? How do you assess your own personal worth? And how much money would you pay to get revenge on the neighbor’s dog that keeps defecating in your backyard?” — Peter Martin, Twitch

“Playing like the mutant offspring of Harold Pinter and Quentin Tarantino, yet fueled by its own distinctive strain of darkly comic misanthropy, director E.L. Katz’s debut feature was voted audience fave among midnight pics at SXSW.” — Joe Leydon, Variety