Roxie Theatre Sun, Feb 3, 2019 5:00 PM
Roxie Theatre Thu, Feb 7, 2019 7:00 PM
Film Info
Director:Callum Crawford
Film Category:Narrative
Running Time:102 min
Year of Release:2018


Degenerates is a bold and innovative British comedy drama which is Callum Crawford’s début feature film, both as writer/director and an actor. Callum Crawford plays Casey Vaughn, an aspiring scriptwriter who is pushed by his agent to write a script based on a true story.

Apparently not a fan of comic-book adaptations, Casey takes to scouring the internet for a news story worthy of a ripped-from-the-headlines drama, and the search quickly points him toward a local missing-persons case: the ongoing search for a 15-year-old girl who disappeared on her way home from school. He soon finds himself at the home of the missing girl’s mother (Anna Acton), and, before you can say “inciting incident,” he makes the rash decision to take a more hands-on approach to the story: he presents himself to the distraught woman as the lead detective on the case and, armed with little more than the knowledge he’s gleaned from the big-screen thrillers he’s written and seen, vows to bring her daughter back safely.

That’s a gloriously terrible idea on Casey’s part, but it’s not too shabby a hook for a movie – the one that the character envisions writing once he’s solved the case and, in turn, the one that Crawford has brought to the screen. Of course, as Casey well knows, you can’t have an entertaining caper without a cast of colorful supporting characters, so his first order of business is to recruit one – much more for the flavor they’ll add to his story than for the ostensible skills they bring to the investigation. His motley bunch includes Maureen (Annette Badland), a genial-looking sixty something who moonlights as a black-market drug dealer, Naomi (Lauren Douglin), a petty thief prone to bursts of casual violence, and adolescent Peter, a wide-eyed innocent who serves as the group’s lookout.

The results are predictably – but, sometimes, fairly amusingly – disastrous. -JM