Disappearance of Willie Bingham, The


“They Cuttin’ Off My Right Leg, Or Is That Me Left?”

Main Cast: Kevin Dee, Gregory J. Fryer

Director: Matthew Richards

While I’m only two movies into the Alter YouTube channel’s catalog, I’m happy to say they haven’t let me down yet.

Movie #2 is The Disappearance of Willie Bingham and whatever image you think that title conveys, you’re already wrong.

In this short (written and directed by Matthew Richards, from a short story, The Wilbur Bledsoe Amputation by Michael L. Fawcett), Willie Bingham (Kevin Dee) is a convicted murderer who let the booze do the talking one time too many.  As his punishment, Willie is the first recipient of a new form of justice wherein the family of the victim gets to decide which parts of the convicted will be amputated, and when.

And with each new missing part, the prisoner is paraded in front of various high schools and at-risk groups to warn them what happens when they break the law.

Kevin Dee has credits going back to 1997’s ROAD TO NHILL and he plays Willie Bingham with all that experience in tow.  We watch Willie go through every stage of grief as he undergoes surgery after surgery.  And when he’s wheeled before a group of delinquents and tries to offer his warnings, when he understands how little they care, how little they think of the dwindling man before them, we feel a little of that heartbreak right alongside him.

The rest of the cast is minimal at best.  We get Willie’s representative in Gregory J. Fryer (Wentworth), and father of the victim Tim Ferris (Underbelly) who looks familiar from somewhere, but I don’t recognize any of his credits.  Both actors turn in super depressing performances, all of which, added to Dee’s portrayal of Willie, give this whole short a down and dreary feeling.  Not to mention I watched it on a cold and dark October night, which probably didn’t help.

Matthew Richards has directed the hell out of this short, wringing the emotional impact for all its worth, showing us the real destruction of a man’s will to live and his absolute helplessness to stop it.  This one really gets you in the gut.

The real question: is The Disappearance of Willie Bingham a horror story?

That’s a tough one to answer.  Someone asked me once what I considered horror, and I think my answer was anything I don’t want to happen TO ME.  Well, this one definitely falls into that category, but then I’m not a violent drunk, and if I was, I think I have about as much chance of this being my punishment as I do once a year getting to commit any crime I want for 12 hours up to and including murder.  I’d probably place this one more in the science fiction realm (medical science fiction?), with a definitely dark bent.  Or, hell, maybe it IS horror, just of a certain type I can’t quite label.

Either way, I really enjoyed this short.  The Disappearance of Willie Bingham is 12 minutes and 26 seconds, and you can watch it for free on YouTube.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get Netflix Dates emailed free to you every week