What happens when you think your destiny lies down one road, but in reality it’s down another? That’s the story of Itchy Fingers, the new film by Marco Jake and Anna Nilles. Ernie Burroughs (Zachary Shultz) is a recent high school graduate. He believes he’s supposed to follow his family’s legacy and be a comedian. He spends his days recording YouTube videos and waiting to get notices, but the only thing others notice about him is that he’s not funny. His life changes one day however when something leads him towards a youth theatre group. He joins to get his moment on stage, but quickly discovers the play isn’t a comedy. It’s a drama about a school shooting. And to make things worse, he’s been cast as the shooter.
Itchy Fingers is a slow burn satire with a dash of dark comedy and drama thrown in. Like the main character it takes a bit of time to find its voice, and by the time it does you find you can’t turn away. In the end the film lets you decide what it’s about, while making sure not to insult your intelligence by over explaining things. Newcomer Zachary Shultz has a striking resemblance to a young John Candy, yet the film feels more like one of Candy’s later in life films. Shultz plays the character with a charm and realism that makes you feel bad for him and want to cheer him on, even when he’s wrong and starts going down a dark path. For a young actor this can be a difficult first role, yet he pulled it off remarkably well.
Itchy Fingers is well written, well acted, and a film that will keep you thinking long after it’s ended.