Sword of Trust
This is a creative, nasty little independent film that you really should take the time to see.
Directed and co-written by Lynn Sheldon, who also has a small supporting role, Sword of Trust is a wildly inventive film. Surprisingly, it will capture you with a ridiculous premise that will leave you repeatedly laughing.
An R-rated film, the movie centers on Cynthia (Jillian Bell) and her gay partner Mary (Michaela Watkins) trying to figure out what to do with a Civil War sword she inherited from her late grandfather. The sword is also accompanied by some paper work which purports to prove that the South actually won the Civil War.
Seeking to make some money, they take the sword to a pawn shop in Birmingham, Alabama, owned and run by Mel, a caustic man by any definition. Helped by Nathanial, a confused young man that he employs, Mel offers a few hundred dollars for the sword while shaking his head at its historical significance.
After the ladies leave, Mel and Nathanial research what appears to be the foolish claim that the South prevailed only to discover that there is a large organization that will offer a lot of money for items that will help them prove their point. Thereafter, our pawn shop boys and the two ladies engage in negotiations that seemingly put their lives in danger as they try to make a lucrative sale of the sword.
There are a number of fascinating performances in this loveable little movie. And it begins with Mark Maren as Mel and John Bass as Nathanial. Mr. Maren, who has appeared frequently as a stand-up comedian on TV, will immediately capture your attention as a store owner trying to make a profit where he can find one. In the process, he is continually confronted by Deirdre (Ms. Sheldon), an old girlfriend who has failed to conquer their drug addiction as he has done.
And then there was Mr. Bass, who plays the emotionally damaged Nathanial. Both well-meaning and lacking an ounce of common sense, one of his challenges in life is to prove that the Earth is flat. And while there are some very funny performances from Toby Huss as Hog Jaws and Dan Bakkedhl as Kingpin, the two cynics seeking to buy the sword, the film swirls around Ms. Bell and Watkins as two gay lovers committed to each other. They are both wildly funny and very engaging, and they will undoubtedly surprise you with their joint ability to make use of a gun.
One of my favorite films of all time is Harold and Maude (1971), the best quirky independent film to ever hit the big screen. Sword of Trust follows in that same category and its soundtrack rivals the music by Cat Stevens in the Maude film. Do yourself a favor and find a way to see this film while it still plays in the theatre.