The Death of a Cybersalesman

| March 29, 2012

Is your email inbox full? Do you spend hours clearing out spam folders? Have you ever opened an embarrassing email while a co-worker looked on? Of course you have. Whether you’re a man or a woman, if you live in America and have an email address in this 21st century, you’ve more than likely been the victim of a spam message encouraging you to buy male enhancement products.

Danny and Elizabeth have a happy home and are expecting a baby. They grow increasingly excited, and somewhat anxious, when Danny lands a mysterious new job, where he is expected to sell a product he’s been told nothing about. With his wife’s encouragement, he skips into his new office where he meets the mysterious, unnamed man who hired him. He is soon is briefed on his assignment: Sell male enhancement drugs to a random list of email addresses that his boss has collected. The job seems easy enough, as all Danny has to do is sit at a computer (which is a typewriter hooked up to a bunch of random wires), type up the emails, and send them out. After a few hours with no responses, however, he learns just how difficult his job really is.

The film is set up like a show from the 1950s, complete with an announcer introducing each character as they smile, pose, or wave at the camera, their name being spelled across the screen in cursive. “Death of A Cybersalesman” is “filmed in front of a live studio audience” according to the announcer, but their overbearing and randomly placed applause and laughter is only used in the first scene. This is a bit of a relief, since it gets in the way, but the inconsistency makes the entire introductory scene seem unattached.

The tongue-in-cheek humor and truth to the jokes that spill over from this hilarious dramedy are wonderful. The film does what low-budget films should do more often, and that is to not take itself too seriously. The clever concept and little things that remind viewers how stuck-in-the-past spam messengers are make the film fun to watch. One of the best scenes is Danny’s boss giving him tips on how to write the best spam emails he possibly can.

Unfortunately, some of the acting is a little over-the-top. It seems like the characters are in a stage play rather than a movie or TV show.

“Death of A Salesman” has its flaws, but overall it is a very original and hilarious short film. The ending is rather odd, not unlike the rest of the film, and therefore it is quite appropriate. Viewers are sure to enjoy this 15-minute film. In fact, since it’s so short, maybe it would bring quick relief to the over-stressed everyday person, going through that infamous spam folder.

About the Author:

Caress is a Chicagoan who has a deep fascination with film. Her love for movies began as an undergraduate at Roosevelt University, where her teacher suggested she write a movie review. Caress' favorite genres include indie dramas, foreign films, experimental films, and psychological thrillers. When she's not watching movies, Caress enjoys writing, photography, travel, fashion and music.
Filed in: Shorts

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