Blade#1 (United States, 0:42)

Directed by: Zuzka Kurtz

The lives of NYC dancers trying to make ends meet sometimes gets a bit weird but never as bizarre as the lives of the five young women, who decide to shave their heads at the direction of an anonymous online master manipulator.
Zuzka Kurtz's intriguing documentary, Blade #1 follows Cori, a beautiful professional modern dancer with a strange past, and four of her fellow performers who come across a Craigslist ad seeking women willing to shave their heads for money. One by one they begin on line conversations with a person they only know as 'Ben'. Ben's reason for paying the women are shrouded in mystery. However, his conditions are succinct: e mail him your photograph; describe what part or parts of your head you are willing to shave; and how much money do you want. Over the course of multiple shaves, the relationships between the women themselves and their feelings towards Ben grow increasingly complex and dramatically shift in unexpected ways.

Blade #1 trailer from 18 Street Productions on Vimeo.

A film by Zuzka Kurtz

Shot & cut by Geoff Hug

Title Design by Oriana Reich

Featuring:
Cori Kresge
Emily Vetsch 
Annie Now
Leanne Ferguson
Chelsea Retzloff
Milan Misko
Toni Lugo

Review:

Blade # 1

By Kerby Pierre

Blade #1 is a haunting yet mysterious story about a group of women who get money for shaving their head. It seems harmless at first, in fact almost too good to be true. Some of the women were offered hundreds to thousands of dollars just for shaving their head. Although the instructions came from an ominous place, they were very specific. The razor had to be a number one blade. Getting accounts from different women who were doing the same thing, each story seemed vastly different and the film centers itself on the emotional impact that the women felt while shaving their head. The documentary takes an eerie turn when the women start to compete for high amounts and up the ante to get more money and look for new ways to keep him interested in the shaving.

The film really draws in viewers with the story. It focuses on the strengths of the story, sets it up like a narrative, and uses the women’s interviews to structure the story in chronological order. It is as if the audience is watching a film with the characters growing and evolving from this experience. It’s evident that the women in the film are changed by this event in their life. The blade becomes a part of the story. The blade is constantly in the film with a menacing buzzing sound and a sense of terror in the women’s eyes every time, but the idea of money at the end just overpowers the fear. Blade # 1 is an official selection of the New York City Independent Film Festival and will be screened at the festival on October 12-18, 2015.