Sandoval Wolf has a dangerous job. As a troubleshooter, he’s tasked with deactivating and investigating malfunctioning androids in Louisiana. In an interview with an unseen HR representative, he says that he loves his job; in his own way, he is saving the world. Throughout the film, Sandoval and his partner, Chilly Wallace, confront and deactivate several home-defense androids that have killed their owners. This job isn’t easy: They must enter the robots’ kill zones to bring them down. High-tech weaponry and good old-fashioned grit help them finish their assignments alive. We see the folly of unchecked technological consumerism unfold as multiple homeowners are gunned down by their defense systems, and the corporation responsible for their operation refuses to take any blame. Will the troubleshooters figure out the mystery behind the killer robots, or will the overwhelming odds and lack of rest take their toll?
King Jeff’s Troubleshooters is low budget but in spite of those limitations, the film manages to tell a suspenseful and riveting sci-fi story. The plot and world exist in a near-future America somewhere between Blade Runner and I Robot in the prevalence of androids. I’ve been calling it ‘Louisana Cyberpunk’ in my head. The film is incredibly serious at times, drawing the viewer into suspenseful scenes with tense music (most of which is written, performed, or produced by Writer/director/actor King Jeff). Other moments are incredibly funny or genuinely corny in ways that remind me of my favorite 80s, 90s, and 00s action movies.
The cinematography throughout King Jeff’s Troubleshooters was impressive as well. King Jeff has an eye for angles and light that deserves attention. With his home production setup, he managed to shoot several shots and scenes that would rival some modern Hollywood productions with millions of dollars at their disposal. This eye for staging helps to suspend disbelief and is only one tool among many that give King Jeff’s Troubleshooters the potential to be a cult classic. This movie isn’t ‘so bad it’s good’; It’s fantastic despite its small scope and budget.
My only issue with this film is the spotty audio capture. There were a few frustrating moments when the dialogue was covered up by the soundtrack or just too low to hear. Hopefully, the version I watched was a rough cut, and the film will be released with clear dialogue. The sound design and soundtrack, however, were quite impressive. As mentioned above, most of the soundtrack includes King Jeff’s creative input and ranges from incredibly creepy to downright funky.
Fans of Indie films who want a COMPLETELY indie film will be thrilled by King Jeff’s Troubleshooters. The film met -and then exceeded- nearly every expectation I had after watching the trailer. With excellent cinematography and simple props and effects, King Jeff’s Troubleshooters delivers a unique sci-fi experience that I could easily see turning into a long-running series if it just had financial backing. Every moment of this film seems passionate and thoughtful, even those which are just silly. Many modern films lack this intentional playfulness, and it is one of King Jeff’s Troubleshooters’ greatest strengths.