Wrath Mercy

Adam is a drug addict nearing the end of his young life. After a decisive encounter with Mall, the drug dealer, Adam meets Irina, a mysterious woman who gives him an opportunity to change his fate. After years of trauma, abandoned by his family for being gay, will Adam finally find a way out?

  • Brian Whisenant
    The Golden Years, For Amy
  • Brian Whisenant
    For Amy
  • Glenn Payne
    Driven, Killer Concept, For Amy
  • Brian Whisenant
    For Amy
  • Matthew Zimmerman
    Key Cast
    Film Debut!
  • Natanya Ross
    Key Cast
    The Secret World of Alex Mack, The Baby-Sitters Club, Boy Meets World, Muchie Strikes Back
  • Deb Radloff
    Supporting Cast
    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Running Lines, God Friended Me
  • Carys Glynne
    Supporting Cast
    Mirona, Carebot
  • Brice Stone
    Supporting Cast
    Stagrassle Paranormal
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, LGBTQIA+, Sci-FI
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 10, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    27,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4k
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Brian Whisenant

Brian certainly has an eclectic and varied background when it comes to the world of film, dating back to memorizing every word of "The Empire Strikes Back" at the age of 8, accidentally going into the wrong theater at the Crossroads Twin Cinemas and watching "Moonstruck" at the age of 11 and sneaking a VHS tape of "The Silence of the Lambs" out of a local rental store at 15.

Brian is an writer, director and actor -having written, starred in or directed a variety of indie films and theatre in NYC, Los Angeles and his home state of Mississippi. He currently lives in Los Angeles

For 6 years, Brian programmed LGBTQIA+ films for Oxford Film Festival. Brian has written about film and the Oscars for Awards Daily, AwardsWatch and his own website, brianwhisenant and is a member of GALECA: The LGBTQ Society of Entertainment Critics.

After 25 years, Brian has made his dream project, "Wrath Mercy." Based on a play and Brian's own life experience, "Wrath Mercy" tells the story of a young gay drug addict, Adam, who after a dangerous encounter with Mall, the drug dealer, meets a mysterious woman named Irina who gives him an opportunity to change his fate.

Look for Brian on TikTok at: brian.wiz. And on IG at brian.wizzz

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

"Wrath Mercy" is literally a 25 year dream come true for me. And one that has both a complicated and fateful journey.

I first saw Ben Craven's play, "Wrath Mercy," when I was in college at the University of Southern Mississippi (my home state), all the way back in 1998. I had always imagined adapting it as a film for myself as an actor. Over the years, after moving from Mississippi to NYC, I drunkenly offered the role of "The Woman" to many, many actresses, with the intent of playing Nigel myself.

As I began to adapt the play. Nigel became Adam. And instead of being a straight guy who steals diamonds from a club while high on ecstasy, dreaming of getting back to his childhood sweetheart, he became a gay crystal meth addict, hoping to find a way out of his small town, to escape the pain of his traumatic past. He still encounters the mysterious woman, and the stakes remain the same. "Nothing left to lose, nothing but his life."

Ironically, what I didn't yet know about myself at the time was that I was a drug addict myself. In 2014, after a disastrous year in LA, becoming homeless and hopelessly addicted to crystal meth, I went to treatment back in Mississippi, a place I swore I would never return.

One day I quite dramatically told my therapist that my dreams were dead - that my biggest regret was throwing away a promising career as an actor and director. He asked if there was anything I might work on while still in treatment. Like a flash, I remembered "Wrath Mercy." I dusted it off, took another pass at it and became determined to make it happen. Not as an actor this time, but as a director.

After moving back to Los Angeles, in the middle of the pandemic, Oxford Film Festival produced a virtual table read of "Wrath Mercy." We were on our way. A few months later, I met Natanya Ross, child star of the 90s, also in recovery from addiction with a similar, if bigger, story to mine. I'll never forget the night we read the screenplay in my living room. "The Woman" became Irina, and I suddenly knew this role was always meant for her.

Thanks to an IG post by a casting director friend of Deb Radloff (Mall in "Wrath Mercy") and an intentional search for an openly queer actor, we found our Adam. The amazing Matthew Zimmerman in his film debut. Fate. I believe it was fate all along.

In May of 2023, I went back to Mississippi, this time gratefully, to make "Wrath Mercy," the greatest three days of my life. With the guidance and friendship of my Co-Producer, Glenn Payne, an amazing camera team led by my vision-making Cinematographer Michael Williams, a wonderful, local supporting cast, crew and a slew of donations from $5 to $5000, my dream finally became a reality.

"Wrath Mercy" is an allegory. A fantasy based in reality. I wanted to show people what it FEELS like to be a gay crystal meth addict, why we might become addicted in the first place, while asking what may be the unanswerable question of why some drug addicts live and some don't.

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy our film.