Writer/director Jordan Horowitz’s Painless could continue to work genre-themed film festivals until the crack of doom, but indie filmmakers in competition against him are clapping with glee that his film will be making its way to the home entertainment marketplace on Nov. 6.
Painless is entered in competition at, oh let’s say, Cinequest San Jose Film Festival and it wins. Or the Filmfestival Kitzbuehel and it wins the coveted “Audience Award” … we could on, it is an impressive list.
But, Indican Pictures let it be known this past week that genre fans who didn’t have the luxury of visiting a film festival playing near them — or the limited post-Labor Day theatrical run — will have the opportunity to enjoy Painless on DVD during the first week of November. For the record, the ARR is 46 days.
Painless is part sci-fi, part mystery and part heartfelt dramatic tale. It is the story of Henry Long (Joey Klein — The Vow, On the Road, The Other Half, etc.), a brilliant research scientist who now lives a closed-off, near solitary life because he suffers from the rare condition of congenital analgesia, which is a fancy way of saying that he can’t feel pain.
We get a little bit of a backstory that shows how he grew up without ever experiencing pain. He now must take precautions against burning, scalding himself — is the coffee too hot … what about the soup? He bundles up against the cold, not knowing if the extra layer is even necessary.
Without the condition, Henry would have a solid career and perhaps even relationship, both emotion and sexual in nature. But without the sensation of pain, these joys have eluded him, instead he spends his days working on a cure and funds his research by manufacturing drugs for a low-life named Eddie (Tommie Sox).
Henry can be a pest too. Dr. Raymond Parks (Kip Gilman), a fellow research scientist, is plagued by Henry’s demands for this and that … his opinions are often ignored as he cautions to take it slow, but Henry has other ideas.
Into this hellish world come two people — both of which will alter the life-trajectory that Henry seems destined to be on … alone and “painless.” The first is a chance meeting with Shani (Evalena Marie — Serena and the Ratts, Splitting Image), who has an exotic, but kind-hearted look about her. Perhaps she has empathy for Henry.
The other is a fellow researcher, Dr. Andrews (Pascal Yen-Pfister - Nobody's Watching, Sully), who would like to help Henry, for reasons that become clear as the narrative progresses.
Filmmaker Jordan Horowitz’s Painless doesn’t fit into one category or another and that is precisely what it has enjoyed such praise in the limited venues in which it has played thus far. Nov. 6, on DVD, that universe expands exponentially!