Forced Alliance

Tagline : Their plea for help turned into a night they would never forget.

Runtime : 92 mins

Genre : Drama Thriller

Vote Rating : 8/10

Budget : 117 $ USD

Plot : Four young friends, en route to the coast for a weekend of surfing and fun are forced to seek help from a strange recluse when their car breaks down. Jack Rattigan is a strange man living in an even stranger house, a decaying relic of a bygone age. Is Rattigan insane? Or are his words and acts and expression of a mind tortured by mortal anguish? What is Rattigans secret? And what is the source of his power to mesmerise?

Cast Members

Reviews

I want to thank **Paul S. Rowlston** for helping me track this film down and for supplying the artwork scan from his own personal VHS tape! This film is pretty rare and I haven’t actually seen it but Paul was the Production manager / Associate Producer on this one and assures me that: > while it was made cheap and fast, this was actually a pretty good film, a strong script with an amazing and affecting performance by Danny Keogh. > It was an honest attempt at a serious film. Paul also provided an interesting backstory to this film: >It was written by **Gregg Latter** at the request of **Neal Sundstrom** as a follow up to **Tyger, Tyger Burning Bright** (1988). Neal then left S.A. before we started production and Josh Spencer stepped in as director. His debut as a feature film director. The main protagonist is named Rattigan after the British playwright **Terence Rattigan**. >It was written under the name **The Recluse**, but the name was changed by the distributors who feared that a US audience would not understand the word ‘_recluse_’. This all came as a bit of a surprise as the team really liked the title and had already commissioned the B&W artwork. The film was shot in about four weeks in an old house in Sunninghill. _(A suburb of Gauteng, South Africa)_ on a total budget of about 1.2 million Rand. **UPDATE:** I’ve recently had the good fortune of being able to chat with the director of this film Josh Spencer. He provided me with the full synopsis and a personal Director’s Note. I’ve added these below: **Full film Synopsis** - _Warning may contain Spoilers._ > Four young friends, Kurt (Todd Jensen), Jason (Liam Cundill), Kathy (Lesley Rochat) and Reggie (Bart Fouche) are on their way to the Californian coast for a surfing weekend when their car breaks down. Seeking help at a nearby ranch, they discover a crumbling ruin of a Spanish villa hidden in the trees. It appears deserted. They wander around this exotic mansion and discover an indoor pool alongside a chapel. Jason, Reggie and Kathy skinny-dip. Reggie storms off after Jason roughly dunks him underwater. Jason makes crude advances on Kathy who is nominally Kurt's girl. Tensions simmer until Kathy makes a startling discovery. The house is not deserted. Rattigan (Danny Keogh) has been living in a secluded set of rooms in virtual isolation for years. > > He assists Kurt in finding a part for their car sourced from one of several wrecks concealed in the brush along the hiway. Rattigan tells Kurt about each wreck and the people who died in them. But Kurt is alarmed when Rattigan hides from a passing Hiway patrol. By the time the car is fixed it is growing dark. Rattigan insists they stay for supper. Over the meal Rattigan expounds a strange mixture of philosophies and probes into the dynamics of his young guests. Suddenly he produces a gun and herds them into imprisonment in the chapel. Later her releases Kurt to have a long rambling conversation in Rattigan's dimly lit room. Kurt guesses that Rattigan is a survivor of one of the car wrecks in which his wife and children died. Rattigan has been seeking atonement ever since. Reggie, an asmatic, has a panic attack as his inhalers are in their car outside. They attempt to escape by cutting away the door at the latch but Rattigan thwarts them. Only Reggie manages to get away. Trapped in this strange chapel and facing an uncertain fate at the hands of what appears to be a mad man, tensions between Kurt and Jason spiral out of control, culminating in Jason attempting to drown Kurt in the pool. Kathy has to jump in to separate them. Their violence subsides into abject resignation to whatever the dawn will bring. Meanwhile Rattigan hunts Reggie down, we assume to kill him. Later he appears outside the chapel wearing Reggie's hat, and strumming Reggie's guitar. The three prisoners assume Reggie is dead. > > As dawn breaks Rattigan herds them into a front room overlooking the driveway. Reggie has escaped and found the Hiway Patrol. Two armed officers approach the house to investigate Reggie's wild claims. Rattigan yells at them to back off. They retreat behind their patrol car, shotguns at the ready. Using a loud hailer, one of the cops attempts to reason with Rattigan. Rattigan releases Kathy first and then allows Jason to bolt to safety. After a long monologue Rattigan comes out holding his gun at Kurt's throat. Then he suddenly pushes Kurt away. The cops both fire and Rattigan falls dead. One cop comes up and examines Rattigan's gun. It's empty. He simply used his hostages to lure the cops in to shoot him. But in seeking his own death he has had a profound effect on the four youngsters, forcing them to re-evaluate their own lives. **Director's Note.** > This excellent but not flawless psycho-drama revolves on a simple idea – an imprisonment which forces the young protagonists to re-evaluate their lives and relationships. It's chief strength is in the dialogue between the five leads, particularly the rambling philosophical monologues of Rattigan. Danny Keogh was literally born to play this role and was nominated for an AA Life Vita award for one of his best-ever screen performances. Much of the action takes place in paraffin-lamp lit interiors. It is virtually 'filmed theatre'. A totally bizarre set – a real house partly demolished, actually motivated the concept. Produced on a pitifully small budget and badly mauled in rushed post-production, the film nevertheless became a 'cult-classic' to those who managed to see pirated tape copies. This film along with 'Easy Kill' was eventually sold to American interests who intended to re-edit and re-sound the pictures entirely, giving them the post production they deserve. What became of them is unknown.

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