"BB is getting plenty of positive reviews, but I can’t offer it more than a 3-star rating. That’s certainly not the kiss of death, but not the ultimate bit of glowing praise a filmmaker might want either"
Leah Lamont (played by Jennifer Mae – who also co-produces here) – otherwise known as Candy Cummings – takes a job as a web-cam girl – doing strip-tease, masturbating for her on-line clients and playing out the many varied fantasies for those on the other side of the camera. Her initial reason for taking the job is to make some quick cash so that her girlfriend Alina (Victoria Fox) could return home to Bucharest and reconnect with her family. Alina falls into the same old traps she once escaped (mostly drug use) and refuses to return Leah’s calls. Adding to Leah’s frustration over her deteriorating relationship, one of her on-line customers and apparent war veteran “Horny Hal” (Kristian Hanson – also co-producing) begins cyber-stalking her – illegally tapping into her web-cams and following her every move. He loses out on a date that “Candy” has offered, and he violently reacts by beating up the actual lottery winner of the night out. Eventually, he kidnaps Leah.
"Its early scenes, exploitative as they are, at least hint at an interesting movie; maybe one about relationships and the meaning of fidelity; maybe one about the ambiguous nature of exploitation; maybe one about the nature of drug addiction."
We venture into this synth infused take on camgirls, obsession and exploitation…
Our hero is a girl named Leah Lamont (Jennifer Mae) rather than, as you might have assumed, BB. Like several of the films’ characters, she has an alliterative name; perhaps this is set in some sort of adult version of the Marvel Universe. I say an adult version as, in the first scene of the film, LL attends an interview with Madame CC – Candace Camera – in the hopes of becoming a camgirl. A camgirl is a type of adult performer who engages in video calls with clients, who can pay to see them perform certain acts. LL takes on a stage name of CC – Candy Cummings – and, for a brief time, the life of a camgirl looks rosy; she’s raking in enough to buy her Romanian-American girlfriend first-class tickets to Bucharest, to visit her family during a time of crisis. But, wouldn’t you know it, before too long things have turned sour; her girlfriend may or not be involved with dodgy drugs and a dodgy ex and, more immediately concerning, she’s being stalked by a wounded veteran with a screenname of HH – HornyHal – though only we, the viewers, are privy to his identity, which is made clear to us in a series of his taped video-confessions.
"A strong independent movie, BB is worth your time!"
BB - The Camgirl Stalker Movie You Didn't Know You Wanted
by Matthew Parkinson, September 25th, 2016.
Directed and written by C.J. Wallis. Produced by Brandon Eames, Mousa Hamdan, Kristian Hanson, and Jennifer Mae. Release date: August 18, 2016.
It's often the case that the best films go unseen - in large part because of the way that the Hollywood system works. Gross simplification incoming. As budgets increase, filmmaker creativity goes down. You need to appeal to the masses in order to make your money back - if you're able to get financed at all. Lots of smaller movies make it onto the festival circuit, but distribution isn't guaranteed. And then you have something like BB, which was self-financed and released on its own website. You won't see something like it at your local multiplex, or even likely at a normal festival. It's a niche film but a good one.
"BB is never less than compelling viewing, and is well worth your time and money!"
While sex work in any capacity tends to be euphemistically dubbed ‘the oldest profession,’ no facet of that field is more uniquely modern than that of the cam girl, a performer entertaining untold numbers of strangers online with intimate displays into webcams. Naturally this is a subject matter that’s begging to be explored on film, as it not only offers ample opportunity for classic titillation tactics, it also presents us with compelling questions as to just what drives people to get into this line of work, as well as what might drive those who patronize their service.
This, put very simply, is what BB is all about, and from that bare-bones premise we might easily anticipate something very sleazy and exploitative, particularly once we factor in that the central character is also gay, and much of the film’s early scenes are taken up by sex scenes. However, while the feature debut from director CJ Wallis is indeed filled to the brim with nudity and sexual content, with more than a dash of horror movie in the mix, the primary emphasis is on character-based drama, exploring themes of isolation, loneliness and miscommunication, and the strange way in which these feelings are only intensified by modern communications technology which should, in theory, be bringing us closer together.
"There is a voyeuristic aspect to BB that will entice you and maintain a chokehold on your attention"
"JENNICA GIVES BB AN A+" There is not anything on this planet more gratifying than the attention gained from fame. The more you shine, the more you crave it. You are a face. You are a personality. And people love you as if their lives depend on your every smile, your every gesture. Your addiction to the adoration is like a sickness. But sometimes your fans are sicker. Like you, sometimes your fans blur the lines between fantasy and reality, only they take the fantasy to a new level of objectification. Behind the mascara and the lipstick is a woman— a human being with real life problems— who is just waiting for the cameras to be shut off. Her name is Leah Lamont… but you can call her “Candy.”
" Indie film making at it’s most productive, BB is a striking and powerful look at a modern phenomena!"
Out: Now / Runtime: 88 minutes / Rating: N/A / Fortyfps / Director: CJ Wallis
Leah who, under the name “Candy Cummings”, performs strip shows online from her apartment for thousands of strangers every day, never fully knows the extent of the evils that could be watching on the other side of the screen. But she will soon find out…
Made on a near non-existent budget and with a tiny cast and crew, BB takes a classic concept and adds a very modern, 21st century twist to it while proving quality movies can be made with little resources.
The idea, a man becoming infatuated with a young woman from afar despite having never met her, has been seen in dozens of movies. The stalking, the harassment and the eventual kidnapping are all time worn tropes of this type of story. Infernal Cinema recently reviewed Honeymoon/Luna De Miel which touched upon similar. BB, however, adds ‘cam girls’ into the mix. These women, who perform on webcams for whoever is watching and willing to pay them to do ‘more’, have became popular in recent years. Some have became ‘celebrities’ and they have thousands of fans.
"A gritty, raw character drama wrapped in the veneer of the low-budget thriller!"
The hook for micro-budgeted indie film BB reads like many a B-movie thriller: A hard-up woman becomes a web-cam model to make some fast cash, only to find herself being stalked and harassed by an obsessed fan.
BB differs notably from typical direct-to-video genre fare, however, in its presentation. Filmed documentary-style, sans narration, fly-on-the-wall clips of heroine Leah (played by real-life web-cam model Jennifer Mae) are interspersed with found-footage style sequences of her #1 fan Hal (Kristian Hanson) being generally creepy and obsessive. Director/writer/editor CJ Wallis cleverly works around the absence of studio sets and effects through rapid cuts, parallel editing, and musical montages that show Leah’s life spiraling out of control while events build toward the inevitable collision between the protagonist and her tormentor.
According to press material, non-actors were deliberately chosen to lend a raw, real-world feel, and for the most part it works. Jennifer Mae acquits herself rather well in the lead role and gamely goes full-frontal several times, in addition to pounding lots of booze and drugs (we’ll assume that part was simulated) and freaking out a lot. Hanson isn’t quite as natural at emoting for the camera, but he’s far more believable, looks-wise, as a stalker than the generic hunk who would have been cast in a Hollywood production.
"C.J. Wallis has crafted a strong independent thriller worth your time, as it balances the lines of public and private, lurid and perverse, love and obsession. This world is definitely one you will not be comfortable in"
BB Film Review: A Lurid Tale Of Online Persona
We live in a connected world, where with the single touch of a button or swipe of a screen we are immediately present in the life of another. The majority of the time, this is simply maintaining a connection with friends and family, however, in other instances, it serves more as a social contract between strangers, where each party has a mutual understanding of trust in the exchange of goods and services. And in the case of BB, the full-length feature debut of C.J. Wallis, we are given a glimpse into the prurient life of a cam girl, stripping for anonymous strangers, and the inherent dangers of presenting one’s self to the masses.
Jennifer Mae plays Leah Lamont, a young woman who becomes a webcam model in order to raise enough money to send her girlfriend Alina (Victoria Fox) back to Romania to visit her family. She quickly establishes her online persona of Candy Cummings and develops a strong and loyal fanbase. One of those fans is HornyHal, played by Kristian Hanson, an Iraq vet who develops an unhealthy fixation on Candy, and is convinced they are meant to be together. As Leah finds herself alone and missing Alina, she immerses herself in her work and thrives on the excesses of drugs and alcohol. All the while, Hal becomes more obsessed with Leah through the avatar of Candy–he believes he is in love with a woman but is only aware of a character, a facsimile of reality. Over time, his obsession develops into a more threatening state as he begins to stalk her both physically and online, using spyware to gain access to her cameras; all while planning his big move.
FortyFPS Productions has been hired to write, perform & arrange score pieces for Joseph Forsberg's independent film Zer0 Tolerance, a film about school bullying and now the cover art for the album has been released.
Tracks & previews will surface over the next little while.
Designed by CJ Wallis.
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"This is the early efforts of some talented people that have a bright future!"
I was approached to review this film by C.J. Wallis, who is the man responsible for filling out most of the crew member positions on this film, such as writer, director, editor, cinematographer, producer, and so much more. Most notably, he’s just simply a pretty cool dude to shoot the shit with, which I discovered while shooting messages back and forth on Twitter.
He asked me to review his latest offering for him, whether it be good or bad. That’s when I decided to hit up my good ole buddy, Doctor Briggs. whom watched the film with me, and we’ve decided to do a joint review. Therefore, this review will consist of both of our opinions.
Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us, CJ. When did you originally come up with the idea for BB?
I never really know, to be honest. I tend to just have a bunch of cool ideas for characters or show-off scenes or shots floating around in my head that, individually on their own, don’t add up to much.
I was pretty into Bjork for a long time and in high school I saw 18 hours worth of underground Hi-8 tapes of a kid named Ricardo Lopez who filmed himself over a year having conversations to the camera about his love for Bjork while progressively, and successfully, building an acid bomb hidden in a book for her. He filmed and timed his own suicide with when she was meant to open the book herself.
I met cam-model Jennifer Mae and the more I thought about her profession, I started to realize how vulnerable and terrifying it could be under the surface. Coupled with my fascination with people’s theories about being able to hack into embedded cell-phone or laptop cameras and add Ricardo Lopez to the gumbo and all those chunks rapidly form and became Megazord-like.
A few days later, the script was done. A month after that, we were filming.