All Time Classics: Small Town Hero (2019)


Have you ever wondered if a superhero has ever wrongly accused someone of a crime they may or may haven’t done.  It has to happen, right.  No one can always be 100 percent sure that they are doing the right thing all the time.  I’m sure Batman has his doubts at times, but than again maybe not.  Maybe this ideal of a perfect society is what fuels many of these individuals who put the law into their own hands.

People like Pep(Simon Cassidy) in the wonderful new movie Small Town Hero are nothing new.  Being fed up with crime in his town.  He decides to do something about it and stop it.  At first it started with a bunch of kids breaking a store’s window and other small crimes.  His methods were a bit unorthodox but hey, they get the help get the job done.

When a documentary crew comes in and begins filming Pep stopping crimes.  He starts to let the things he does go to his head a bit too much.  He isn’t so much interested in stopping crime.  He wants everyone in the town to behave the way he thinks they should all be.  After a neighborhood watch team kicks him out of the group for being too aggressive.  He decides to become a hero again when it’s discovered that a  pedophile has been released from jail and has moved into his town.

When watching this you are fully on Pep’s side from the start.  He has a great monologue at the beginning when he is discussing his frustration with people talking in movies that got me on his side right away.  You see that he does care about many of the people in this town and they like him in return.  But his ideals of what should be a perfect society is what brings out the worst in him.  He starts attacking people for littering or he insults this poor woman on how she should keep her yard.  When trying to lure out this pedophile who has moved into his town.  He even uses his own son as live bait and starts accusing every guy who is not married that he sees hanging around the park.  This goes back to my original statement about how can superheroes ever know 100 % all the time at who the bad guys are.  I’m betting The Punisher has made mistakes when stopping crime.

Shot in a documentary style.  Small Town Hero is one of the best examples of the whole found footage genre and making the limited budget do wonders for the film.  Shout outs go to cinematographer Ernesto Hermann and editor David Brook who do a fantastic job with the tone and how it changes throughout the running time of the feature.  At first it’s uplifting and even comical at times.  But as Pep becomes more and more intent at stopping crime.  The way the editing and the look of the film matches his persona is something really worth mentioning.

Praise goes out to Simon Cassidy for his role as Pep because this could have easily been a one note character.  But he portrays him in a way that we can’t help but love him in a way.  He does care about people and wants to do the right thing.  It’s just how he does it and the ways he goes about doing it is his downfall.  I would compare his performance to that of Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver, Tom Stall from A History of Violence and  even Ben from Man Bites Dog.

Writer and Director Darren Bolton has created a movie that will cause some discussion from those that see it.  Do people have the right to put the law into their own hands.  We have the ability with our phones to show the truth but we also have the ability to manufacture it as well.  Just like the docu film crew who asked if they could reshoot Pep chasing a criminal because they didn’t get it.  After he has already caught him.  I would love it if we always knew who the bad guys were all the time but that isn’t the place we live in.  All we can do is to try and be the best we can be.

A Solid Whiskey Shot from Me. Small Town Hero is really good and worth checking out.  You can find out more about this movie be visiting the site below

Also check out the movie  reviews that editor David Brook has on the site Blueprint Review

About The Vern

I love movies and I enjoy writing about them too. They both go pretty much hand in hand with each other and it's fun to discover new classics. I co host the podcasts The Film Pasture, ScreenTrax, and soon Cinema Recall. While also contributing reviews and articles to other great sites when I can.
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