Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: BC Furtney
Writer: BC Furtney
Producer: BC Furtney, JB Destiny
Stars: Stephen Geoffreys, Tiffany Shepis, Ezra Buzzington, Corey Haim
A once successful screenwriter fallen on hard times resorts to extreme measures for his latest work of inspiration.
If “Do Not Disturb” were a partygoer attempting to engage another guest around the punchbowl, it would be a conversation one could not get out of fast enough. “Do Not Disturb” is that insufferable variety of personality completely oblivious about just how much of a crushing bore it really is. Deluded by self-importance, it drones on incessantly while overwhelming social graces demand waiting for a graceful exit before politely bowing out. In this case, that moment only comes when the end credits hit the screen, by which time it is already too late to salvage the evening.
Desperate for someone to notice it standing alone in the corner, “Do Not Disturb” even name-drops an English accented Corey Haim in a silly role as a poor man’s Johnny Rotten. In an insult to the other actors with much bigger bites of screentime, Haim is credited as a top billed draw even though he appears for two minutes in a puffed up cameo that could be removed entirely without making a difference.
Seldom seen Stephen Geoffreys plays Don Malek, a Hollywood screenwriter whose white-hot status now runs ice cold. Don’s agent Ava Collins clamps down like a vice trying to squeeze a new script out of her client. What Ava soon discovers, however, is that Don has traded his pen for a scalpel, and a loose screw has necessitated a career change to murderer. But maybe that is something she can use to her advantage in the dog eat dog world of Hollyweird.
Despite that description, “Do Not Disturb” is not a biting satire about the film industry’s slimy underbelly. Nor is it a captivating horror movie, thriller, or mystery. “Do Not Disturb” feels more like the screen version of a stage play. But not a play of the Tennessee Williams or David Mamet variety. This is the type of greenhorn production that takes place in a Los Feliz loft, where the fifteen seat room is populated solely by family and friends not smart enough to craft a good excuse about why they had anywhere else to be.
The stiff staging combined with the confining location of a seedy hotel room and hallway where the majority of scenes take place creates a cramped sense of dull malaise. Since the camera has nowhere to move without bumping into a wall, most character exchanges are edited between static close-ups of talking heads. Director BC Furtney is missing the rhythm for how to make the moments flow. Shots linger too long and the little gaps between lines make the overlong dialogue all the more excruciating to sit through.
Trapped in this barren hotel room, there is little to look at, and the camera intentionally keeps it that way. When Don turns to homicide, the fatal blows from his hands land just offscreen and out of frame. His ghoulish crimes fail to resonate with the lens always tilted or panned away from the horror. The one time that an open wound does appear onscreen, it looks like a prosthetic scar cut from a Ziploc bag and slathered to the actor’s chest with Dollar Store vampire blood. Accenting the coma-inducing onscreen activities is a noisily annoying score that sounds like someone gargling a throat full of houseflies.
Confusing itself as a character study, “Do Not Disturb” focuses all of its efforts on a wordy script of monologues, duologues, and blah blah blah that may as well be delivered by Charlie Brown’s teacher considering what little attention it grabs. And for all of the talking that it does, the story has nothing meaningful to say.
Thirty seconds of amateur sleuthing on IMDB reveals that “Do Not Disturb” is actually a 2010 movie titled “New Terminal Hotel” that is being rereleased in 2013 under a new identity. But you know what they say about a rose by any other name. This is a film that needed more than a title transplant if it intended anyone to sit up and take notice. “Do Not Disturb” is destined to be as justifiably overlooked and completely forgotten in 2013 as it was in 2010.
Review Score: 20