Today: April 17, 2024

Head Count

That the Burghart Brothers know how to make a fun film is apparent five minutes into Head Count. The fact that they’ve been able to produce such a deliciously slick, dark comedy, with such a minuscule budget, shows us that the Aussie duo, may be new(ish) to the business of moviemaking but they’re certainly no amateurs.

Everything about Head Count — from its clever visual motifs to its carefully composed shots — is pitch perfect. The story jumps around, with flashbacks within flashbacks, creating a richly layered plot that plays out like drug-fuelled crime caper. If Tarantino and the Coen Brothers had a baby, then Head Count would be it. 

After escaping from a chain gang, Kat (Aaron Jakubenko) finds himself with a gun pointed at his head. It’s his gun. Luckily, though, it’s not fully loaded. But how many bullets are left? He can’t quite remember. And now, with an unknown assailant about to pull the trigger, Kat is forced to recall exactly what happened to each bullet.

As the empty rounds click away, memories of wild animal attacks, run-ins with an impulsive police officer, an arms dealer, and an ex-lover come flooding back. As the pressure mounts, Kat must figure out how many rounds are left and try to devise a plan to escape … one more time.

As an indie film, Head Count is unlikely to get a big cinema release, but it streams on UK and Ireland digital platforms from 19th February. Here’s hoping that it finds its audience, because Head Count is the sort of deliciously satisfyingly, quirky, indie film we haven’t seen for a long time. Bravo Burghart Brothers, bravo!

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com

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