Fantastic Fest 2012
By Don Simpson | September 25, 2012
Director: Rafael Antonio Ruiz
Writers: Rafael Antonio Ruiz, Jennymarie Jemison, T. Lynn Mikeska
Starring: Jennymarie Jemison, Kelli Bland, Johnny Walter, Byron Brown, Geoff Marslett, Megan Jemison, Chaille Stidham, Jeffery Mills, Ryan Mills, Connor Mills, Shannon Grounds
Holly (Jennymarie Jemison) is a victim of childhood bullying and even though much time has passed her scars still run deep in her veins. Lacking self-confidence, Holly is a meek wallflower, barely noticeable and constantly walked over; but behind those glasses and underneath her quirky fashion ensembles, there lies a twisted victim who is not going to take it anymore. So, with an aluminum baseball bat in hand, Holly becomes empowered to take matters into her own hands. She evolves into a geek vigilante who enacts revenge upon the evil alpha personalities of the world. In doing so, Holly begins to gain strength and self-confidence. For once in her life, the tables are turned. Holly is no longer invisible, people can no longer walk all over her. In fact, now she inspires fear.
Rafael Antonio Ruiz’s The Quiet Girl’s Guide to Violence is stylishly violent, like a graphic novel that pulsatively pops with one instantly-iconic, carefully-crafted image after another. Yet this is not just violence for the sake of violence, there is actually some heart and soul associated with it.
During its 15-minute running time, The Quiet Girl’s Guide to Violence cleverly shows us the world from Holly’s perspective, thus allowing us the opportunity to burrow inside Holly’s head and relate much more closely with her. As the title of the film suggests, Holly does not say much, so Ruiz relies heavily upon visual storytelling to convey Holly’s emotions. This is where Jennymarie Jemison comes in. She approaches Holly as if she is a character in a silent film, transmitting her thoughts via subtle facial expressions, gestures and movements. I suspect this will be a break-out performance for Jemison, as she truly owns Holly. I also suspect that audiences will demand to see much more of this character (if they know what’s good, they will also cry out for more of Kelli Bland’s Ivy) — which is a good thing, since Ruiz and Jemison would love to make Holly’s violent adventures into an ongoing series.