Cooked Well-Done


Café at the Crossroads (2007) Review 5
Director:Patrick Rea,
Starring:Roger Strong, Mark Ridgway, Sally Bremenkamp, Betty Laird, and Robert Campbell.
Length:11 minutes


Patrick Rea is a really prolific filmmaker. In addition to making feature length films (see “The Empty Acre”), he’s constantly making quirky short films. His passion clearly skews in favor of horror influenced by “The Twilight Zone” and “Night Gallery.” Recently, he sent me two of his short’s, “Emergency Preparedness” and “Café at the Crossroads.” Both films are a step forward for Rea in that they will appeal to a wider more mainstream audience.

Café at the Crossroads
Directed By: Patrick Rea
Cast: Roger Strong, Mark Ridgway, Sally Bremenkamp, Betty Laird, and Robert Campbell.
Running Time: 11 Minutes
Review Rating: 3 out of 4 Stars

“Café at the Crossroads” has to be Patrick Rea’s most easily reached film to date. Taking a page out of the “Night Gallery” handbook, Rae’s story takes place sometime in the near future, where the sky has turned blood red with the sun burning anything uncovered to a literal crisp. Into a café on a desert road, and from the dangerous outdoor environment walks a mysterious Man in Black (Roger Strong). Once in the café, he discovers an odd assortment of folks: a man calmly reading a newspaper (played by Mark Ridgway), an older woman (Bettt Laird), an older man (Robert Campbell), and a pleasant waitress (Sally Bremenkamp).

The Man in Black sits down, orders a cup of coffee, and strikes up a conversation. As though merely discussing the weather, these people civilly discuss what appears to be the end of the world. Who is this mysterious traveler? And more importantly, who are these people camped out in the Café at the Crossroads?

Like the short film, “Emergency Preparedness,” mentioned above, “Café” looks great. The special effects used sparingly don’t appear cheap or campy. And the story is a little more original, yet, mainstream enough to appeal to a wide audience. For filmmaker Rea, this is one café that might be worth revisiting.