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Troy (Bill Scott), a suicidal office employee, forms a bond with Lorri (Lulu Benton), a crisis counselor with a secret necrophiliac obsession. The two make a secret pact: Lorri will help Troy kill himself, if she can have her way with him afterward. But, as they prepare to go through with the deed, Troy's feelings for Lorri begin to grow, putting a strain on their seemingly ideal arrangement, as Troy wonders if he really does want to give his life (and Lorri) up.
"Stiff" is a drama/thriller about Troy, a lonely/suicidal man who is a regular caller to a suicide hot-line. He calls so often that he ends up talking to the same woman every time, Lorri who is a bit strange herself to say the least. It seems she has a fetish for having sex with dead people. The two get to know each other so well that Lorri gives him her personal phone number and one day when Troy calls her she decides to go over to his apartment. Troy's place looks simple enough for a man in his situation except for a rope he has hanging from the ceiling, waiting for him to make his decision to kill himself. The two begin to see each other on a regular basis but after awhile Troy finds himself falling for Lorri which complicates matters. Shot on a shoe-string budget the filmmakers make the best of what they had to work with. The film deals with just the two main characters and both actors, Bill Scott and Lulu Benton give realistic performances, I do not think either will ever win an Oscar but considering this is feature film debut for both and being in a film that demands a lot from it's leads I felt they did a great job. Try is a lonely guy that has given up on everything in his life which is sad but a bit more "normal" than Lorrie who is more out going but also a bit more twisted as well.
The whole idea and concept here is certainly a bit twisted but both Mike McKown and Jim Towns who directed the film together did a great job of not letting it go too far, instead they keep the film entertaining without ever becoming repulsive. "Stiff" isn't going to be a film for everyone but I highly recommend it to all those that love Independent cinema, it is original and cleverly written and the ending will have you thinking long after it is over. All things considered this is a big accomplishment and one everyone involved should be proud of. As a side note I noticed right from it's opening frames that the film was shot in my home town of Pittsburgh which I found to be pretty cool as well. The DVD comes with Special Features that include:
Released by Cinema Epoch
*** Out of *****