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Loyalty Print E-mail
User Rating: / 4
Written by Chris Mayo   
Saturday, 12 January 2008


Directed by: Josh Townsend
Written by:
Josh Townsend
Produced by:
Josh Townsend
Cinematography by:
Josh Townsend
Editing by:
Josh Townsend
Special Effects by:
Josh Howell
Music by:
Michael Davis, Josh Townsend
Adonis Boyd, William Bowman, Christianna White, Kenneth D, Craig Burns, Damian Scott
34 Minutes

Video: NTSC R0
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0
Distributor: Empty Bottle Loaded Gun Productions
Official Website:

We begin with two gangsters sitting in a parked car.  "I was in a pleasant non-killin' motherfucker’s kind of mood.” claims Pike (William Bowman) to his partner Joe Bites (Adonis Boyd), as they get ready to carry out a violent “drug” heist.  The thug-duo enters a residential household and promptly blows away two dudes playing video games.  Meanwhile in another room Joe’s attractive girlfriend, Liz (Christianna White) is hustling an unsuspecting gangster named Dusty out of the contents of a wooden crate under the bed.  Pike and Joe enter and Joe allows Liz the honor of executing Dusty by way of throat laceration, spraying her red with blood.  Thus begins our gangster/horror fusion.

Joe Bites apparently owes $100,000 to a badass gangster called the Bonecrusher (and with a name like that, the consequences of non-payment are obvious).  With crate in tow, the plan is for Joe and Pike to strike a $2,000,000 deal with a couple thugs dealing from inside a comic book store, but shit hits the fan when Pike realizes that the contents of the crate aren’t drugs at all.  Much like a Yakuza crime flick, honor plagues certain characters, and when a terrorist organization is involved, casualties amass.

What makes Loyalty such a unique movie is its collage of genre pictures and film homage’s.  Loyalty doesn’t portray the typical black gangster movie, like such films as Boyz in the Hood, but rather, exemplifies more of a Yakuza feel parallel to a film like Takashi Kitano’s Brother.  Then throw in some Quentin Tarantino-esque Pulp Fiction engaging dialog, topping it off with some viral horror sequences, analogous to Ebola Syndrome sure to make Anthony Wong swollen with pride.

Loyalty was filmed in Jacksonville, Florida by death-metaler turned first time director Josh Townsend.  The film was also shot, cut and funded by the man as well.  The many months of living destitute in his grandmother’s home, allowed Townsend to save enough money to get this film off the ground.  Budgeted at around $4,000 Townsend shows what filmmakers can accomplish with dedication. He even constructed the films steadycam, additionally giving the film skilled looking camera shots and visuals.  Independent cinema, particularly of the horror or DV variety gets a lot of flack for a lack of creativity, and skilled acting.  Any pessimism need not apply here.  Shot at 24 fps with a Panasonic DVX100a camera, and containing some of the best acting of any independent film of any genre, Loyalty is sure to impress. 

Loyalty is completely story and character driven making the direction and casting of competent actors essential to the effectiveness of the film.  Adonis Boyd does an amazing job as Joe Bites, who lets greed get the best of him.  Boyd’s character resembles the acting merger of Samuel L. Jackson, and Harold Perrineau Jr. of OZ (the television series).  William Bowman also holds his own alongside Bites who lets morality play a factor of making a quick yet copious buck.  Christina White stars as Joe’s hot and sassy girlfriend, who has no qualms with ending a person’s life at the end of a knife.  Even the secondary characters do an effective job being key players to the film; chiefly when the character of Akbar, corresponds with Bobby.  The dialog stays important throughout the entire film, and these guys bring downright hilarity.  Bobby sees Joe and Pike conspiring outside his shop, "Fuck it, let's go get ‘em Ackbod.”  When Akbar questions Bobby’s mispronunciation of his name Bobby continues with the instantly classic line: “Ackbod, Ackbar what the fuck ever.  Hop on your fucking camel and go around the side of the building while I jump through the back door ok?”  Another instance of creative conversation can be heard when Joe and Pike make ready to enter the comic book shop.  Joe tells Pike "If they frisk us, don't let them take your cracker killer.” making reference to his hand gun.

The only shortcomings shown in Loyalty are the varying font size, type and color of certain titles which transition the scenes.  I believe the revamped cut of the film which is showcasing at Fantasia this year contains updated titles.  Either way I did enjoy the titles themselves, but I think a more standard and single colored choice would have catered to the already professionalism of the film.  The second blemish I felt was amateurish was a knife throw to the head.  The camera angle was done well, but the actual penetration of the knife didn’t impress.  Other than that the effects work very effectively.  There are many shootings, a throat slicing and some torture by booster cables which are sure to please.

As stated within this review, Loyalty is a collage of great genre cinema, culminating into a uniquely original labor of love.  With the DVD’s meager asking price (less than 10 bucks), how could any underground genre fan pass this up?  And who knows, maybe Mr. Townsend will throw in a sample of Zyklon XP.  I guess you’ll have to check the film out to see what the Hell that is…


- Behind the Scenes
- Stills
- Trailer
- Easter Egg

VIDEO: 1.85:1 Anamorphic 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed CinemaNo Skull - Severed Cinema
AUDIO: Dolby Digital 2.0 - English
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Add New Search
Christianna White  - actor     | |2010-09-04 01:24:59
Christianna White is the correct name of the actress here.

Thanks for the
great review!

~Christianna White
Christianna White     | |2010-09-04 01:25:30
Correct name: Christianna White
Dale  - Character Education Research   | |2011-07-20 18:25:00
How does the word Loyalty figure in the picture. Who is the loyal person and to
whom are they loyal? These are questions needed for my research

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