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A Drunk Scorpion Will Sting Itself to Death

USA 2020
produced by
Nadir Hepburn, Chanel Mack (executive) for A Hard Work and True Storys Production
directed by Denton True
starring Denton True, Chanel Mack, Ewa Maria Wojcik, Liam Burke, Demingo Graham, Eddie Liaboh, Trevor Van Uden, Brittany Bennett, Derrick Butts, Landon Hamilton, Mark Evans, Jesse Capozzi
written and music by Denton True

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Dean (Denton True) is a homeless crackhead, who at one point od's, falls of a roof onto a trash heap, and after he realizes his girlfriend Diana (Ewa Maria Wojcik) and best friend Shaun (Liam Burke) have just abandoned him and walked on to the next hit, he decides to go clean - and is almost beat to a pulp when falling asleep on the subway, but saved by Maria (Chanel Mack), a "guardian angel", as in voluntary social worker. And Maria might really be the positive influence in his life, as she offers him abode and helps him looking for a job - and really manages to straighten Dean out to some extent. Thing is, she also wants something from Dean in return, she wants him to lead her to drug pushers - who she can then shoot dead. At first that doesn't faze Dean too much, as he really wants to break with his former life, even if that means some of his friends from back when are killed - but things aren't going super smooth in the longer run, as eventually, somehone has tracked down Maria and put a hit on her, and suddenly there are dead bodies in her apartment. Also, Diana wants back into Dean's life, and after he agrees to meet with her, he has a relapse - and doesn't even himself believe his excuse that it was just a one-off. On top of that, Maria's operations are getting more and more dangerously, soon putting Dean in the line of fire as well ...


A Drunk Scorpion Will Sting Itself to Death is nothing if not a highly original genre blend: On one hand it's social drama, on the other vigilante thriller, only without the elephant tears usually identified with the former, nor the reactionary attitude identified with the latter. In fact, given its premise, the film manages to stay admirably objective, and (at least to my knowledge) it's one of the very few films that actually gives crackheads some depth and even a raison d'être instead of just using them as scum (at worst) or story catalyst (at best) for some anti-drug drama. But what really makes this movie is not so much its idea but its execution, it's a clever script that weaves above genres and a romantic subplot together rather effortlessly and in a very charming way that manages to entertain thoughout. And it's of course also thanks to very down-to-earth performances that this works quite as well, making this a pretty cool film, really.

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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD