Written by: Samuel Gonzalez Jr / Michael Kuper | Directed by: Samuel Gonzalez Jr. | Genre: War
Vinny ( Arturo Castro ) gets drafted for war and suddenly, his life seems unsure, not promised. His three best friends are shocked, they simply can not understand how a guy like Vinny could ever be drafted. Vinny in the war? It just seems so unlikely and ridiculous. So, since a draft is far from a request ( as stated in the film ) his two best friends decide they'll enlist and go with him. Soon after, the friends are in Vietnam fighting the American war nobody wanted.
It's not long before things go to shit, Tommy ( Illya Konstantin ) falls, but the actual war segment of this film is pretty brief except the flashbacks and dreams/hallucinations throughout the movie. That's okay though because Battle Scars, as the name implies, is more about what happens when a soldier comes home. When a man who has served his country comes back not to parades, but something damn close to hatred. The Vietnam war really became something of a shining example of bad government, bad decisions, and overall just bad. And the soldiers suffered the brunt of the public outcry.
This is Battle Scars, the aftermath, and life of a soldier coming home. The film shifts and follows Michael ( Kit Lang ) mostly, and we see life through his eyes. PTSD, hatred, it's all here. We see Michael try to live the proper life, and slowly drug down to a life of crime. It's when things really go to shit during a heist that the true nature of the effects of war are really showcased. And it's just as scary as any horror movie monster out there. Probably scarier because it's true. For an independent film with a relatively low budget, as far as movies go, this title packs quite a punch.
And that's the thing. Battle Scars is an indie venture but huge lengths of time would pass and I would completely forget I was not watching a large studio production. I'm not saying that you can't tell this is an indie movie, only that it's one done really well. The grit, the feel, it all comes together so well - and this is complemented by the excellent performances of the large cast involved here. I can't think of any indie movies I've recently watched, that completely engulfed me into the story like this one did. Indie, studio, doesn't really matter - this was just a really good movie.
I really enjoyed my time spent here and the reality is this: That's all that really matters. Are there minor flaws? Yes. Sometimes, is the dialog a little wonky? Yes. Overall though, Battle Scars is a really great post-war movie and I think there's something here for almost anyone. Highly recommended and thank you for reading.
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