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Battle Scars

How do you get your friendly, neighborhood Cinemavenger to review your independent film? Just fucking ask. That's what the makers of Battle Scars did, and here we are. May whatever god they believe in have mercy on their souls.

Co-written, produced, and starring Christopher "K.I.T.T." Lang, Battle Scars is a 2020 movie about a Vietnam veteran struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after returning stateside. Lang and director Samuel "Speedy" Gonzalez, Jr. clearly intended Battle Scars to be a study of PTSD's devastating effects, but their movie is a study of PTSD in the same way a stick figure is a study of the beauty of the human form.

Does Lang's character Michael have PTSD? Yes. Does it lead him down a road of neglect, alcoholism, drug addiction, and crime? Absolutely. Like the second your high school girlfriend closed her bedroom door, gave you a sexy smile, and pulled off her shirt, that's where the "study" ends.

Screenwriting 101 is in full effect in an early scene when Michael's mother gives kid Michael a compass and tells him it will always lead him home no matter how lost he gets. It's about as subtle as a chainsaw, but the moment is paid off later in the film (kind of), so good on Lang and Gonzalez.

Why the two wannabe auteurs decided to jump around in time without rhyme nor reason, well, that's a question only they can answer. If anyone other than me asks, which they won't. Those temporal leaps do fuck all for the story. In fact, they create totally unnecessary confusion as you wonder things like, "Why is Michael banging some random chick right after getting back from 'Nam when he got married and knocked his wife up just before shipping out?" Or, "What the fuck happened to Michael's best bud Vinny, the guy Michael enlisted for in the first place?"

Big props for getting a movie written and made, especially one that includes a bizarro bathtub gun blowjob scene (do more of that in the future, boys)! There's a plus-sized amount of room for improvement, but at least Battle Scars didn't give me PTSD.

September 25, 2020

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