Lone Star Deception is a drama film about Tim Bayh who is the first black candidate to run for Governor in Texas’ history, just after the first candidate withdraws due to a prostitution scandal. Bayh has to survive assassination attempts and face down his own demons. The film stars Eric Roberts and Anthony Ray Parker and was directed by Don Okolo and Robert O. Peters.
The Story/The Direction
Bill Sagle (Eric Roberts) finds out that his nephew is being blackmailed. If his nephew doesn’t pull out of the race, a compromising video will be released. Sagle and his wealthy, white colleagues now need to figure out who they are going to replace as candidate to run for governor. Sagle chooses Tim Bayh (Anthony Ray Parker, Dozer from The Matrix), as the new gubernatorial candidate. Bayh is an African American man who works for Sagle but has zero political background or experience; furthermore, Bayh has been a registered Democrat all of his life, clearly demonstrating how well-thought out their plan was… Or not. Bayh agrees to run as a Republican just as long as it doesn’t conflict with his values. The main reason Bayh is chosen by this group of wealthy individuals is based on the premise that his race will “guarantee” them the win because “it worked for Obama.”
Eric Roberts is the star of the movie and his dialogue shows it. While this may not be the best film of his career, the film was seemingly written for his character to do fine. The rest of the cast are honestly forgettable or not worth mentioning—at least positively.
Where to begin? First off, this is a terribly written film. Real-estate-developer-turned-writer Ed DeZecallos has this story (or lack of story) full of the cheesiest of cheesy one-liners. In addition, Tim’s candidacy for Governor is compared to Obama’s 2008 presidential run time and time again. It’s really hard to tell if the writer really loves Obama or if he was the only African American politician he knew of. It’s understandable to say Obama was the first African American President and that’s why they want to use Bayh in a similar fashion; however, there are numerous other African American governor candidates and/or actual governors they could have used as examples. Maybe this was done on purpose to show that rich white men in Texas are unfamiliar with these other African American political leaders? It’s definitely not made clear through the writing. In addition to the poor writing, the story makes no logical sense. When Bill’s nephew commits suicide, those involved in the blackmailing still want to go through with it, so Bill tells his governor candidate to “handle it,” which he does through scenes that are seemingly there to push Parker as more of an action star. Obviously this is another problem that could prevent his chances of being elected, but with this type of writing that was not the case.
The postproduction on this film was also terribly orchestrated. At multiple points in the movie the scene switches from normal visuals to some type of a yellow tint and back again to normal. This might be due to how they filmed the movie or the cameras they used, however, it looks absolutely atrocious. To say the acting is bad would be a compliment to the film. Parker stumbles over the dialogue multiple times and pauses awkwardly. This may have been done to add tension but failed to do so. Rather, it was odd and the only explanation is that there was a “no second takes” policy on set.
This 106-minute film had probably an hour of extra footage. The quality feels similar to a movie put out on YouTube in 2008. Most straight-to-home movies usually have small budgets but there’s some passion that would make the film somewhat watchable—that does not seem to be the case here. If readers have absolutely nothing better to watch during the Coronavirus pandemic, they may enjoy the film as it could fall into the “so bad it’s good” genre, but that’s about it. If they have other films they want to watch, this one is definitely worth skipping all together.
Now, what did you think of the film? Let me know in the comments section, and hit me up on social media.
Recommendation: SKIP IT