» » King Candy (2015)

Short summary

Glenn Leighty (Ralph Sepe Jr.) was an ordinary 17 year old who strived to stand out from the crowd and do something to put him on the map. In 2010, he started a charity to help children in Africa. However, Glenn's promise to make the world a better place may in fact be an empty one, as his work propels him into a world of drugs, violence, crime and debauchery.

Despite the film stating that it is based on a true story, the film is actually very loosely connected to the real life story. Ralph Sepe Jr. stated that he exaggerated the story on purpose to emphasize Glenn's capacity to manipulate the truth which is a major theme in the film.

Ralph Sepe Jr. got the idea for the film from his friend while eating at a La Bottega. He gives him special thanks in the credits.

Most of Brian's lines (played by Greg Scavelli) were improvised and were heavily edited in post production.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: xander
    Though I wouldn't call this movie great, it is incredibly impressive, and high quality, considering an estimated budget of only 500 dollars. The cinematography is excellent, the pacing decent, and it has good editing. Where the film starts to collapse is in the acting department; The only person who was in anyway believable and good in their role was Ralph Sepe Jr. himself, who admittedly did do a surprisingly fantastic job. One thing that should also be pointed out is the humor, which is a pretty important part of the film, which I didn't care for. It was passable, and wasn't distractedly bad, I just didn't laugh, which considering how funny many of his reviews are, I found that it didn't live up to that standard. Over all with passable humor, good acting from the director, if only from him, and fantastic cinematography and lighting, I would easily recommend this film to anyone who was already interested in it from the description. It's able to be views freely on YouTube, so there's really no reason not to give it a go.
  • comment
    • Author: WUNDERKIND
    It is evident from his brilliant YouTube videos that Ralph Sepe is a very talented and very funny person, and that really comes through on King Candy. The cinematography is beautiful, better than a lot of Hollywood movies with huge budgets; the score is exhilarating; and Ralph's screenplay and central performance are really complex and darkly funny. He also presents himself with a very unique and interesting directional style, which is extremely memorable. As far as complaints, the film can get a little convoluted and hard to follow in the third act; and it's obvious that most of the actors are just Ralph's friends which is noticeable as some of the performances are not as strong as others, namely Ralph's himself. But, considering this movie was made independently, for no money, by a high schooler - this is really impressive, and I can't wait for Lover. Jeremy Jahns is better though.
  • comment
    • Author: Ytli
    This actually wasn't bad, especially for a film created by a YouTuber which usually range from serviceable (Kickassia) to cringe-inducing pieces of garbage that should never have been made (Losing Lois Lane.) But this is the rare good YouTube film I've seen. It's not flawless and its biggest weaknesses are on the technical side and that's to be expected considering how this was made by a film student. The director goes a little too crazy with the color grading and there are quite a few instances where you just want to ask him to turn down the damn exposure, but the story and the lead character were both pretty intriguing all things considered and pretty much make up for it. I recently discovered RalphtheMovieMaker and you can tell he is really passionate about what he does and it shows in more ways than one. I can't wait to see what he does in the future. This film is not perfect by any means, but in terms of YouTube films, not perfect=absolutely incredible. I mean, it's gotta be better than watching the Fred trilogy, right?

  • comment
    • Author: Owomed
    I really enjoyed this movie! I really enjoy movies based on real life and only little of that genre of movies impress me. This one has definitely stood out. I really love seeing movies like this made by teens/ young adults that are just really, really good. This is one of the best real life/autobiography type movies I've ever seen and thats up there with Straight Outta Compton and 127 Hours! I love Ralph's videos and I'm a Huge fan of his! What makes this movie really good is the cinematography and suspense this movie has. I love everything from the score to the actors to the theme of the film! I can't wait to see Lover and other movies that we will see in the future!
  • comment
    • Author: Kanal
    Really impressive work. I really enjoyed the editing style, the red theme in the transitions, and the scoring was really effective in conveying mood.

    High school candy selling cartel is a very interesting premise, and the movie does well with it - though it seemed to me to be more executed as 'how can I do my crime drama with only a high school and teenagers available to me' than it was actually existing within this high school.

    But that's not a complaint, it's well written and conveys its feelings well. Glenn is a perfect antihero criminal type.

    The sound was poor, but sound is hard, and it's passable.

    Really, the movie would benefit most from money and real actors. The talent is there.
  • comment
    • Author: roternow
    This film is written very well and not very predictable, which I can appreciate. I guessed a few plot points but ultimately had my jaw drop from unexpected twists. This movie is probably the definition of a low budget production, which is good and bad at the same time. I liked the cinematography a lot but some moments didn't look that great framing wise. At some points in the film I could not even hear the dialogue of the characters. What saved the bad sound was the music, which I thought had a charm in it. Examples were using "In the hall of the Mountain king" by Edvard Grieg and "Flight of the Valkyrie" by Wilhelm Richard. The music created specifically for this film was also very good. Overall I enjoyed this movie a lot but it has its faults considering the low budget. I look forward to seeing more films by Ralph Sepe Jr.
  • comment
    • Author: Zargelynd
    Great film, 9/10 for sure. Love the story, I was intrigued from the start, it's a very interesting plot. We see glen move from a nice, charity giving person to a dark, manipulating person. I really liked the music in this short, Ralph did a great job of incorporating appropriate music where necessary. Of course this film wasn't perfect, few films are perfect, there was a few scenes where I thought the scene wasn't necessary or it didn't fit right. But for a short film it is a very well made film. The ending especially was very good, for some beginner film makers they don't know how to end a film properly but I think Ralph did a fine job on finishing the movie and it gave a nice crisp conclusion to the story. Well done on this to Ralph and I wish him luck on his future endeavors.
  • comment
    • Author: Ariurin
    I still cannot believe that I put off watching this movie for a year and a half. This film, considering the budget of only 500 USD, was insanely amazing. The score was the best that I have ever heard in a film, and it definitely helped set the tone that Ralph was trying to portray. I have seen people saying that they didn't enjoy the humor, but some of the jokes I remember laughing at. The title of the film makes so much sense once you finish it, and goes with the twist extremely well.

    I do have a few complaints, however, such as the fact that Ralph Sepe did an amazing job in the role of Glenn, but I feel as this made the actors who played Heather and Nick look especially awful. There was maybe three total scenes that I didn't like, and the costumes. Even though the audio was sub-par, it was still clearly dictated.

    Considering these points, I would rate King Candy an 8/10
  • comment
    • Author: Dori
    This is Ralph's best work. I was engaged in the story the entir 50ish minutes of the film. King Candy is definitely one I'm rewatching in the future
  • comment
    • Author: Dukinos
    I really appreciate this film. It represents something that Hollywood lacks: Heart.

    Sepe clearly really enjoys what he's doing here and cares about the end result. Despite the low budget, there's more talent and professionalism here than in many high-profile films.

    Despite that, this movie does have some flaws due to the small budget. The acting is not excellent, but that's mostly due to the tiny amount of money available. They're most likely close friends of Sepe.

    Besides that, everything else is very good. The plot is interesting to watch unfold, the cinematography is well done, and the script is written with meaning.
  • comment
    • Author: Meztisho
    What did I think of this movie? It isn't great. The story was interesting and so was the humour. Humour is something the Ralph Sepe Jr knows how to do really well. That timing of the jokes are pretty good in the movie.

    The acting in this film wasn't very good at all. The only good acting was by Ralph, and he was only good about half of the time, mainly when he was giving monologues though. When two characters are talking to each other, it seems like they are trying to remember of a script. In future, Ralph should try to make conversations look more natural.

    The music had some interesting moments. Nothing memorable, but it was okay. Some happy music in the film is used in darker moments when it really doesn't fit.

    The film doesn't have to good lighting, but I assume that is because of the budget.

    Overall, I would recommend seeing it just for the story though, which is really interesting.
  • comment
    • Author: Nikobar
    Wow. I have been a fan of Ralph's reviews for a long time and I love this movie. It is great! I am surprised for how small the budget was, which makes me REALLY excited for Lover. This movie was very interesting to see how Ralph's character works his way to the top of the food chain. You get the sense that Glenn is not a very good person. I loved and hated him just for how despicable he became. He was a great villain/protagonist. I won't give any spoilers for this movie but I will say to the people who haven't seen this movie: PLEASE watch it. It is on YouTube on Ralph Sepe's channel Ralphthemoviemaker. You will love it. Keep up the good work Ralph.
  • comment
    • Author: Jediathain
    even though this is a short indie film (46 minutes to be exact) it is kind of entertaining to watch... not that the cinematography was the best because after all this is a lower budget film, but the story is pretty interesting even though i have to say it's a little similar to The High (also made by Ralph Sepe Jr.) it's still pretty original... the main character is pretty well developed and you pretty much can understand his motivation. nothing feels rushed and i'd say if it was longer ( like over an hour or so) it wouldn't work... but i have to say one problem of the story is that i quickly forgot what it was about at the start (then you kind of get reminded in one specific scene but that's not very important anyways) overall: pretty fine but i hope future stories will be different
  • comment
    • Author: Armin
    "King Candy" is student film thematically similar to "Breaking Bad", only with selling sweets for "charity" (i.e. the protagonist's pocket) instead of crystal meth for cancer costs. It has flashes of competence, flashes of incompetence, and an overall impression of mediocrity.

    It's held together by strong voice-over narration and a competent script; then the voice-over narration stops, making things fall apart. Films are difficult to make so it's easy to appreciate the work that went into this on a (presumed) zero budget, and you can tell that the filmmaker will learn a lot from making this, but it does not have much to offer any viewer.

    Quickly paced with a good script and some impressive moments (liking the fly-on-the-wall style, editing and concept), but with rather obvious errors in places, including noise levels and some really, really poor colour grading. Most of the colour grading is fine, but some of it is literally bright yellow (more yellow than Jeunet) and it's very distracting, especially when the rapid jump cuts take us from yellow shot to shot without any colour grading straight afterwards. The electric score just bursts into classical music at seemingly random points which is bizarre and jarring. At one point "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" comes on while the protagonist is in serious trouble, at one of the darkest moments, and it's tonally inappropriate.

    The lighting compensates for the lack of /literally any/ sets quite well, but it's still quite obvious that it has been filmed primarily in the filmmaker's home and school/college. In terms of visuals it feels almost like it would work better as a podcast - it's clear that Sepe has a story to tell here (an interesting one about fake charities), and an interesting one, but the visuals really don't add anything to a movie reliant on constant voice-over dialogue to communicate every event happening. When direct speech does take place it's brief and mostly unintelligible over ambient noise (one does wonder if the reason he chose this format was unusable audio). And when the narration stops... oh dear.

    My friends thought the main problem with this movie was the "auteur" Ralph Sepe Jr's acting. Directing yourself is hard when you've made more than one movie - he needed someone to give him feedback on his performance, or -controversial- to actually hire an actor. Since he's in practically every shot it's a pretty all-consuming error, the kind that costs the whole movie. Without that flaw this would have probably been a 6. Luckily I'm autistic so I can't read expressions so it didn't really ruin it for me, unlike my friends who were very vocal in their disapproval. All the acting was pretty flat, apparently. I thought the characterization was good - script not performance.

    The script trails off towards the end, the criticism of mob mentality comes off as incredibly arrogant. "Look, I made a movie - I'm better than you" comes across overwhelmingly, and it's very unclear what he's criticising us for. Imitating movies? Don't know anyone who does that. "Just sitting there and watching" movies? Okay, Ralph, you got me - I won't watch another one of your movies if it offends you so deeply.

    Also, one last point: no way did anyone say this was "too dark" for their film festival (mentioned on Sepe's IMDb page). Seriously. It's not particularly dark. A child gets threatened? Someone eats marijuana in a brownie? "Based on a true story" (ugh - if he actually did this he's an asshole and if he didn't then why would you put that? It adds nothing). Occasional meta moments at the end? Not dark.
  • comment
    • Author: Survivors
    Ralph Sepe is a very very talented director. This movie is very well done. The style in which this is shot is very cool. A complaint I have is that the movie's lighting never gets much darker or gloomier in sadder scenes. The acting is incredible and very powerful. I noticed that they used some same actors for different scenes which could have been hided a little bit better. There was no cringe-worthy scenes in this movie except for the part where Glen falls over in the chair. I enjoyed this movie and can't wait for Lover.
  • comment
    • Author: Runemane
    Ralph Sepe really knows the ins and outs of film and works well to create a lead role who you see slowly sink to lower and lower methods to fund his bottom line. Fantastic use of music and a well composed soundtrack give this film a tone of it's own. There is still work to be done with lighting, camera work, and some of the acting (especially scenes with conversations between characters) but with a limited budget and access to a professional team, this film stands far above any similarly funded project I have seen. In all, I greatly enjoyed and admire this film, I will certainly be watching any further releases by Ralph Sepe Jr.
  • comment
    • Author: Frostdefender
    Once again young filmmaker Ralph Sepe Jr knocks it out of the park with a smart and thoroughly entertaining film. This film is about a 17 year old boy who strives to stand out from the crowd, so he starts up his own charity organization, who sell chocolates to help starving children in Africa. But his promise to make this world a better place is an empty promise as he propels himself into a world of drugs and violence

    Right of the bat this short starts of with a bang, with it's interesting use of visuals, music and dialogue. the film is shot incredebly well, the acting is an improvement upon his last film (The High) and the writing is almost perfect.

    However, like the high he also has a couple problems with this film. every now and then the actors slip up and sometimes the writing can be a little sloppy, but it's nothing that would put you out of the film

    This is a well directed, well written, thoroughly entertaining piece of cinema and i would highly recommend it to anyone.
  • comment
    • Author: Ustamya
    I just discovered a YouTube channel called "ralphthemoviemaker" a few weeks ago. The channel is basically about Ralph reviewing movies (good and bad) while at the same time making some jokes/sly commentary. Sounds like any other YouTuber, except Ralph (even while cursing up a storm) is more collective and is easier to follow when he shares his opinions. Even his style of humor is oddly appealing to me! I quickly grew attached to his reviews.

    After some surfing on his channel, I found a 45-minute video called "King Candy". I've heard Ralph has made some short(ish) films before, and after scrolling through positive comments from fans I was excited to see what Ralph has crafted.

    For a student film, it ain't too bad!

    Yes, it's obvious there was some technical flaws for such a small film. The lighting is sometimes too bright, the sound mixing is muddled, and some of the actors weren't too hot either. But all in all, it was very intriguing! The film starts off with a main character that looks like a decent, caring man until we later learn about his behaviors and motives, and does so without throwing subtlety out the window. The story can be convoluted in areas, and some characters were hard to grasp, but for the most part the script is decently written with many interesting scenarios and a clear structure. The cinematography is also surprisingly effective, as is the use of editing and classical music. Ralph stars as the main character in this, and his acting was much better than I expected! Overall, I was impressed with how much talent/hard- work was put in this movie! It isn't great though...

    Some of the symbolism works, and some don't. The story does have a few glaring holes, and the pacing is a little off. But as a student film, and the way Ralph uses his storytelling techniques and directorial style, I think it's safe to give this one a 7. It's flawed for sure, but "King Candy" can't help but point at promising directions for Ralph's future movie career, and I applaud him for that.
  • comment
    • Author: Runeshaper
    So far this is the only film by Ralph that I've seen so far and I loved. Very well made and Ralph is a great actor as well. It never bored me and there was some nice cinematography. I wonder what Ralph could do if he had a bigger budget.
  • comment
    • Author: JoJosho
    Ralph Sepe Jr's KING CANDY as a thrilling psychological crime short feature of sorts and is a wholly impressive production given his age and lack of professional resources when he made this. While its runtime constitutes the bare minimum of a feature film, King Candy has stuck with me more than many full-length mob/crime films have, as the sheer resourcefulness of Ralph's filmmaking is such a spectacle to behold. The script also displays a great and very psychological understanding of how people are motivated for things in life-- money, prestige, justice, materialism, it's wonderful. Definitely give this one a watch to see the beginnings of a rapidly improving and thoroughly talented filmmaker.
  • comment
    • Author: lolike
    I started watching Ralph Sepe's YouTube channel a couple months ago, titled "Ralphthemoviemaker". It was always kind of funny as it seemed a bit pretentious. He looks very young and hasn't made any movies I have heard of, in addition his IMDb page is very small with many short films. Now, I think this movie earns him that title alone...

    This story is incredibly compelling, and his performance is perfect. Even for a very short feature film, Sepe's movie achieves perfect dramatic pacing. It's a very smart, somewhat unpredictable, and certainly entertaining story. There is definitely some Goodfellas inspiration in this movie with its narration. But unlike Goodfellas, it plays Glenn (Ralph Sepe) as an increasingly successful and smart character rather than the downfall in the third act such as Goodfellas does.

    This movie is completely well written, well directed, and well acted. It would be a 10/10 for me if its supporting characters had some more development and emotion throughout the movie, but this really does not hurt the film as you watch it, it's simply something that could have made the movie even better. I'm looking forward to his next movies now, this movie was just short of a masterpiece that must be seen.
  • comment
    • Author: Yggfyn
    Fantastic , micro-budget film. Good editing for most part. Pacing is great makes the film seem like feature length. Acting is surprisingly amazing. What really drives this film home is the interesting main character study. The character changes and becomes more manipulative at a realistic pace. Main issues with this film: What is the main character, like is he still in high school? If so why does he have such a big house that he lives in on his own? And there is also this sequence that is stylistically edited with no dialogue and to be honest I don't think I'd be able to explain what the hell was going on even if I watched it for a third time. Besides this I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was a great film even without acknowledging the budget. I wish Ralph luck on his YouTube channel and his future films.
  • comment
    • Author: Landarn
    When I watched this film the first time I was smiling the whole way through, it was thoroughly entertaining and the most rewatchable film I've seen. I didn't care that the side characters felt boring because they were just pawns in Glenn's game. The acting though was laughable; apart from Ralph and his younger brother the other performances were disappointing.
  • comment
    • Author: Maximilianishe
    Ralph Sepe beautifully portrays a selfish, greedy, sarcastic asshole. With pretty funny comedy, and an interesting plot, Sepe manages to make such a horrible person likeable, you will be rooting for him untill the very end. My only two gripes with this movie are as follows: The cinematography is inconsistent. Some shots are beautifully lit and colored, while a decent amount leave something to be desired. I also think the story could have ended stronger. I understand he wanted to come off as anti-climatic, but it comes off weak in the end.
  • comment
    • Author: Wrathshaper
    Consider the fact that the film was made on no budget and without professional actors. Given those circumstances, King Candy is fantastic. It's easily one of the best no budget films I've ever seen in my life. The story is a very interesting twist on the crime film genre, involving a high school kid running a faux charity to get rich. Ralph Sepe gives a solid performance as the main character Glenn, with emotional range and great comic timing. The other actors are good for being amateurs. The editing of the film is fantastic, and the score is very good as well. There are a number of lighting issues and ADR issues, but again given the movie was made super cheap I'm able to forgive them. It's free on YouTube and is definitely worth a watch.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Ralph Sepe Jr. Ralph Sepe Jr. - Glenn Leighty
    Alexondra O'Connell Alexondra O'Connell - Heather Seaton
    Ian Goodman Ian Goodman - Nick
    Michael Sepe Michael Sepe - Tim Dolton
    Charlie Grippaldi Charlie Grippaldi - Andrew
    Greg Scavelli Greg Scavelli - Brian Wilcox
    Ryan Osterwald Ryan Osterwald - Ryan
    Roberto Pasalaqua Roberto Pasalaqua
    Joe Acierno Joe Acierno - (as Joeseph Acierno)
    Daniel Marini Daniel Marini
    Michael Kohen Michael Kohen
    Andy Ordonez Andy Ordonez
    Steven Piork Steven Piork
    Vis Haripal Vis Haripal
    Anthony Narchet Anthony Narchet
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