1 Last Chance At Paradise (2014)

DVD Cover (Live Wire)
Genres / Traits: Drama, Gay & Lesbian Films, Romantic Drama, Cinéma Vérité, Post Apocalyptic
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Jason Impey Jason Impey
Wade Radford Wade Radford
Connor Paganini Connor Paganini
Honey Bane Honey Bane

5.2 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Bill Wolford
Added: October 12, 2014
One of my rules for film watching was tested this time around. No matter what the budget is, be it a million dollars or twenty-five cents I need to be entertained. Well, this movie looks like it cost about twenty-five cents maximum, and yes I was surprisingly engrossed by the film despite its short seventy minute run time. I only had a screener, so there may be extra features on the regular release.

1 Last Chance at Paradise follows a gay teenage couple (Wade Radford and Connor Paganini) on their reaction and acceptance of the apocalypse. It's never made clear if this is the last night of their lives as well, or if they think they are the last survivors. Knowing one or the other would have helped me to decide if the way they chose to deal with the circumstances would be the same way I would deal with them. Sure, if it's the last night of my life, I want to be with the one I love and spend every waking second either loving them or telling them how much I love them. On the other hand, if this is some sort of apocalypse and there is a chance for survival, I'd want my loved one with me but I'd be trying to find survivors and find a way for us to survive as well. Hints are given throughout the film that the latter scenario is true. Bodies in the street are mentioned at one point, and a comment is made at one point about whether gas masks are available in the house or not. Of course, we need to realize that this is based in reality, and these are teenagers who are sick, hungry, and scared to death. Everyone would react in a different way, and I'm sure that some people would react in this way. Try to stay safe and inside as long as possible.

The other angle that plays alongside this drama of the end of humanity is the flashbacks of one of the boy's mother trying to come to terms with the fact that her son is gay. I have to admit, much of this was more uncomfortable watching than the impending doom of the main characters. It seems that the mother (Honey Bane) is really trying to understand in her own way, but that way is very selfish, verbally abusive, and unforgiving. She wants her boy to have a nice wife who will take care of him like she has, and for her to have grandchildren to play with. Even when she is told that the other boys parents like her son and accept him, that is still not enough for her. She wants nothing to do with her son's boyfriend, nor does she even want to accept the fact that her son is gay. She goes so far as to suggest that he see a doctor because he must be sick, believing his being gay is an illness like the flu or hay fever. It really hits home how out of touch some people can be, and how cruel they can treat others just because they have a different lifestyle choice.

It seems the best way to look at this film as a whole would be to consider it as a peek into the window of how one couple decides they are going to try to survive an apocalyptic event. We've seen plenty of films that are about the end of the world, and they are full of action, octane and bullets. This film just shows what those in between parts could be like. The film makes the most of its tight budget, being shot in only one room and partly on a phone camera. There are only three actors in the movie, and they all do a great job with the material they have. Acceptance of each other, no matter what our differences may be is the common thread that we all can share, if we want to continue onward and forward. That message is strong throughout. 5/10.
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