Neo-sun worshiper Martin prepares to appease the solar Gods with ritual human sacrifice. But first he needs a spray tan.

“Bronzed” is a dark comedy starring Linas Phillips and Johnny Pemberton. Produced by Chris Capretto and written and directed by Mike Egan, the film goes to get its absurd humour in the unexpected places. Swiftly switching from suspense to comedy several times, the audience is caught puzzled in between trying to culminate a direction that just seems exponential while watching.

Strangely enough, the idea for Bronzed actually was born out of the collision of two real life experiences. About 10 years ago, I got a spray tan while working on a project for a sunless tanning brand and the whole ordeal triggered a mild obsession with bronzing. Second, when I played basketball in high school, my feet would develop these incredibly thick calluses. And—this is so gross I can’t believe I’m mentioning it—I used to slice off the excess skin with a pocket knife (like the character does in the film) and then leave it on my little sister’s pillow. In any event, the story just sort of flowed organically from those two thoughts.

Thematically, when you boil it down to a bone broth, Bronzed is about trust. This is way too serious of an answer for what our film is, but we do happen to be living in a disorienting time where trust as a concept is more important than ever, but at the same time it’s never felt more fragile. It’s all a bit anxiety inducing and the characters are born out of that uneasiness.

“Bronzed” was shot on the Alexa Mini with Cooke prime lenses. They kept the visual approach fairly simple and presentational in the hopes that the audience would take the characters they’ve created at face value. The kind of film that will make you doubt spray tans forever for absolute ridiculous reasons.