Memo to Tim Stickle:
Those DVD screeners of your first feature, Ice Cold Fear - the one you shot entirely in Toledo, with a local cast and crew, the one you've been mailing to film festivals around the country - when you pop the disc in, the first thing you see is a sprawled body soaking in its own entrails.
More or less.
Either way, not too inviting.
Otherwise, Tim, nice job.
Ice Cold Fear premieres Saturday night as a benefit screening for the Collingwood Arts Center in the Old West End, and the pleasant surprise is, as relatively cheap as it was to make ($10,000, including the camera and equipment), it is not dumb. It is not bad. It is not boring. It's campy, but sort of pretty; downtown Toledo appears in shots unexpectedly through a scrim of mist. Gratuitous butt shot aside, the overall effect is of a fever dream.
Even the titles are witty: We watch ice cold bottles, gliding silently, lit with an auburn glow.
And to be honest, Tim, for a while there we were wondering: Ice Cold Fear - "a tale of supernatural retribution with a recurring theme of corporate corruption" - was six years in the making. It's only 73 minutes long. When you started you were 27-year-old and working at Real Seafood.
You're 33 now and running your own video production business. You shot with one actress then scrapped her for another. You put the film away in 2002 then went back to it. You wrote two screenplays and made a handful of short films to pass the time, and still not many of us were expecting much - even the guy who helped you with the guns in the movie got frustrated and blurted, "Come on, man, you've been making this for five years!"
You proved us wrong.
"I'm very aware of the shortcomings of film," you say. "I'm not going to call the film a classic by any stretch but it certainly has moments that satisfy, I think."
The world premiere of Tim Stickle's "Ice Cold Fear" is at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Collingwood Arts Center, 2413 Collingwood Blvd. Tickets are $5. Information: 419-244-2787.