Scrapper (dir. Brady Hall) is that same old fairytale we’ve heard a billion times where the handsome scrap metal collector discovers a homeless teenager in a sex dungeon and proceeds to have a complicated relationship with her while undergoing a painful process of self-discovery. (Oh, I get it! “Scrapper!” There’s two meanings ‘cause in addition to salvaging scrap metal they’re scrappy, too!) The place: Seattle. The cutesy indie character names: Hollis Wallace and Swan. Also: an actor guy who’s on Game of Thrones. You know, the one who had all those prostitutes.
Even if you’re some sort of ignorant moon-savage who’s never heard this particular story, you are probably familiar with the formula: a couple of unlikely heroes find each other, unlikely-ly, and form an unlikely alliance whereby they develop as characters and end up needing one another in some unlikely way. Like Shrek and Donkey. Yes, Scrapper is essentially Shrek, if Shrek were a serious indie drama with several uncomfortable sexual elements and creepy nightmare sequences. And, like Shrek, Scrapper adheres to this unlikely buddy formula in an effective way that culminates in a lingering uneasiness. (Yes, that ogre and ass seemed a little too chummy for my tastes.)
This feature-length narrative film is excellent for those who enjoy being bummed out yet stirred by the hardships of fringe-dwellers, and who also enjoy lengthy contemplative melancholy stretches interspersed with sudden bursts of sex and violence.
Iowans may enjoy this film at the upcoming Hardacre Film Festival in Iowa. (www.hardacrefilmfestival.com)