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"A twisty B-movie noir with shades of the classic DETOUR... chuckles come as much from Perrier's oft-witty camera placement as from the surprising scenario" — Rob Nelson, VARIETY
Director: Max Perrier
Screenplay: Danek S. Kaus, James Chancellor, from Simon Perrier
Cast: Paul Burke, Paula Davis, Anastasia Bondarenko, Mitch Wolanski
Producers: Max Perrier, Valerie Gagnon
Distributor: Panorama Entertainment/Peter Proffit Pictures
THE ANTE tells the unlucky story of Sam (Paul Burke), a regular guy with bad directions who picks the wrong place to stop and ask where the highway is. Before long, Sam's got the homicide of a turkey farmer pinned on him, and a bunch of bloodstained clothes and the murder weapon to prove it. Things go from bad to worse as Sam, his girlfriend Jan (Anastasia Bondarenko), and the farmer's wife (Paula Davis) all try to win the insurance money for themselves.
Canadian director Max Perrier made local headlines early in 2009 when the news got out that his low-budget, Montreal-made feature film THE ANTE secured a distribution deal at the "other" Utah film festival, Slamdance. Incredibly, given the budget, THE ANTE was shot in 35mm Cinemascope format and contains some of the most stunning indie cinematography you're likely to see this year—desolate country roads where murder can occur uninterrupted, sprawling black skies under which crimes multiply as thunderclouds roll in, grey and jagged open-pit mines where the characters hollow out their souls and excavate their sanity. The rest of THE ANTE maintains the high production values established by the visuals. The locations are Hollywood in their scale, the make-up and infrequent gore gags nothing less than believable, and the sound design and score ratchet up the tension as events spiral out of control. The competition for viewing time is always stiff at Fantasia, but low-budget filmmakers interested in seeing how to turn small money into big-time visuals would do well to take a gamble on THE ANTE.