Written by Scotty
Sometimes when you hear stories about one of your favorite artists, you find out the tortures they have had to put up with in life. Pain can be on the finest tools an artist can use to produce the things that capture your eye, but do you really want know the secrets behind the grand piece of art that they have brought to life? The life of a tortured artist is something that I never hope to truly know, since with a little bit of pain, someone can manufacture something so magical that can take you away, but with a lifetime of it, you may just get lost in the work and never come out the same again.
Painter Jack Craig has hit rock bottom. Being promised a show when he has finished his works, the tides turn for the art gallery when the owner does not take a liking to what he has now produced. Begging Jack to start drinking again so his art will be much more edgy, Jack envisions swinging a hammer straight into her skull and reminisces on how he watches her die. Not really doing this, Jack shares this homicidal fantasy to his support group and everyone feels his pain. Not being able to make any money off of his trade, his craft, Jack is as low as he can get and needs to find a way out. Sharon from his group has taking a liking to the struggling artist and wants to sit for him and give Jack a sense of inspiration once again.
Trying to get Jack to break out of his funk, Sharon comes over to his loft and gives some provocative poses, but that is not what will awaken the spirit of the artist. Jack asks her to leave and when he tries to finish up the painting for her, he is interrupted by his neighbor downstairs that is blasting his rock music as loud as possible. In a fit of rage, Jack yells at his neighbor to turn it down, but the young man refuses and continues to rock. Accidentally dropping a flower pot into the man’s head, Jack watches as his neighbor falls several stories to his death. Wanting to walk away from the situation that he has found himself in, Jack cannot help but the look back at the fallen man, the blood pooling around his head and his lifeless eyes staring up to the heavens.
Something has been awakened in Jack and he quickly goes back to work, producing a piece showing the young man’s final seconds on the planet. Knowing that it is a great piece, Jack has to find someone to sell it to. Looking though his art catalog, he finds a collector that takes pride in his collection of human death. Jack goes to visit Mr. Mayflower and is blown away by the collection of human tragedy that is hanging on the walls before him. Malcom Mayflower has been looking for something that shows death, but not in the way he has already collected, but with an artist’s touch and knows that Jack is the only man that can make his collection complete. With promise of a twenty thousand dollar purchase on Jack’s next piece, Mayflower is certain that it will be next to perfect.
Jack does not know what to do to make his next piece any better than his first and with his mind focusing on Sharon modeling for him, he needs to back away and get a drink. Talking with the landlady when leaving to go to store, Jack offers to help her move the deceased tenant’s belongings to the basement, but winds up pushing her down the stairs. With more photos taken, Jack is on the road to getting his next payoff, but even though Mayflower loves the piece, he wants more from Jack and the next offer is one hundred thousand dollars. Jack declines and tries to get back to his life as normal, but after Sharon finds the pictures Jack has taken of the dead bodies around his apartment, she flips and leaves quickly, only to be hit by a taxi. Without insurance, the hospital is hesitant to perform the necessary operation to keep her alive, so Jack takes up Mayflower for his final offer and beats a man to death outside of the hospital and makes a piece of art with his blood. Even though Jack knows it is wrong, he will do anything to save Sharon’s life, but could he have taken his lust for inspiration too far?
This episode has left me speechless. I never would have expected it to play out the way it did and that is why I am still a little bit in shock after it ended. I feel for Jack, as I have been in hard places in my life and needing to break out of my funk, but I don’t know how seeing a dead body would excite somebody’s drive. I have also had friends try to break me out of the funk, like Sharon tried with Jack, and it never worked and it is a shame since there are so many good souls out there looking to help. But I have never had anybody help me profit off of my pain before, I might have missed that memo when it came around, but I think I am ok for not being a hundred percent of the tortured artist that was just on the screen. Starring Tim Roth as Jack Craig, Roya Megnot as Sharon and William Atherton as Malcolm Mayflower, this is the one story that has been brought to life and I can identify with the most, when it comes to being in a funk that is. It might just be the story, but I think that the cast did a fine job of showing what emotions are really flying through their heads as someone has found inspiration, but not the way he expected. Until next time kiddies, Stay Scared.