During her initiation period for one of New York’s deadliest gangs, The Bumblebees, Betty Sue (Christina Paterno) gets more than she bargains for when a night out with her friend Kitty (Catherine Peters) takes a dark turn. Unsure of Kitty’s whereabouts, Betty Sue has no alternative but to head back to the gang’s hideout and share the tale of her daunting journey. Of course, unbeknownst to the frazzled heroine, there is more to the story than her gang is willing to let on. Soon Betty Sue is presented with a challenge that will solidify her standing within The Bumblebees if she has the stomach to accept it.
Slyly blending humour and violent subject matter, without ever stepping into the realm of exploitation, director Sebastian Sdaigui constructs an entertaining tale with The Bumblebees. In combining a 1950’s pinup girl aesthetic -the colour really pops off the screen- with his gritty The Warriors style backdrop, Sdaigui is able to sprinkle a fair amount of dark wit throughout his script. When not making the audience laugh with lines about Beyonce, he is gleefully making them squirm with simple things such as lipsticks and nail polishes. Much of the film’s success though hangs on the strong work from Christina Paterno. She brings enough vulnerability to Betty Sue to sell both her fear of punishment from the gang, and the strength needed to make the decision she finally does. Offering a fresh take on familiar tropes, The Bumblebees is a dark comedy that delivers.
Director: Sebastian Sdaigui / USA/ 2014 / 8 minutes
Starring: Christina Paterno, Catherine Peters and Pop Peterson