Since Grange Hill’s terrifying, anti-drug message hit the no 1 spot in the British UK charts with ‘Just Say No’, various media strategies have been administered to push across the message as to the devastating effect of drugs on families. If watching and listening to the unholy crooning of pasty faced Zammo and friends wasn’t harrowing enough, Jeremiah Kipp (Drool, Crestfallen) has delivered his own message with the seedy, shocking but emotional short movie, Contact.
The story begins with an elderly, middle class couple sitting at a dinner table awaiting the arrival of their guest. Not a word is uttered but both people appear to be concerned and uncomfortable. We are then transported to the backstreets of a seedy ghetto as an interracial couple seek out recreational drugs to enhance their sex life. They get what they are looking for and much more. Zoe Daelman is great as the female protagonist and the chemical trip is viewed from her perspective. When the drugs take full effect she hallucinates that her lover’s mouth has attached to her own, a horrible effect similar to something you might have seen in Brian Yuzna’s Society or David Cronenberg’s Videodrome.
Kipp is undoubtedly an extremely skilled and exciting filmmaker. The fantastic black and white visuals enhance the dilapidated surroundings of the area that the couple purchase the drugs from and only accentuate the horrific visions that the potent drugs omit from its users. There is little or no dialogue in the running time but the narrative is never in doubt. The movie explores the excitement and dangers of drug use but also comments on the security and control of the family unit. The closing moments are all the more touching for the lack of dialogue. This sequence reminded of the emotions that I experienced at the climax of A History of Violence. Contact is an exemplary piece of art.