Skip to main content
The Independent Critic

Jayson Gladstone, Martha Byrne, Peter Harris, Art Hall, David Wenzel, David Newer, Jesse Hlubik, Pete Punito
Bill Duke
Art Hall, Jayson Gladstone, Bill Duke, and Jordan Raskin
40 Mins.

 "Preying for Mercy" an Action-Packet Pilot Short 
Add to favorites

L.A. Police Detective Frank Gates (Jayson Gladstone) is a seemingly contented cop. He's a hard-working man and a loving father to Billy (Peter Harris) and husband to Sarah (Martha Byrne, As the World Turns). What you see isn't necessarily what you get with Frank, whose past is riddled with violence and secrets and whose past is starting to catch up to him 15 years after letting a bust go bad and he fled New York to start all over. 

Of course, certain things never really go away.

An intended pilot directed by Bill Duke (Sister Act 2, Hoodlum), Preying for Mercy is an action-packed short with the kind of 70's television grit that left you anxiously awaiting the next episode and feeling like you needed to pick the grime out of your teeth after watching it. 

In the film, the revelation that a hitman is after Frank and his family means that Frank must unite with his partner to fight back and, in the end, is forced after all these years to go back on the run. 

Currently available for viewing on Amazon and via VOD outlets, Preying for Mercy makes for a compelling view even if it's obviously structured with an open ending that was created in the hopes it would be picked up as a series. 

Preying for Mercy would, indeed, make for a compelling and involving series with Duke's direction infusing the film with a sense of urgency that makes you wish we had a whole lot more of the film to see. Gladstone's performance is quietly desperate, that of a good man in a bad situation just trying to survive. As Sarah, Martha Byrne takes what could have easily played out as a one-note role and gives her remarkable depth and complexity. 

While we may never get to see Preying for Mercy the series, you can check out the pilot for yourself on Amazon or through most of your usual VOD outlets.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic