Cordial Kill  poster w/film festival laurels

Cordial Kill poster w/film festival laurels

Silkscreen poster, design & creation by Josh.

Production Logo

"CORDIAL KILL" - a short film by Josh Gaines


AWARDS / Official selections:

  • Mindfield Film Festival, Los Angeles CA  -  WINNER: BEST COMEDY  -  April 2018
  • Emerging Filmmakers Project, Denver CO - Official Selection - July 19, 2018
  • Prairie Lights Film Festival, Grand Island NE - Official Selection - October 13, 2018
  • Mindfield Film Festival, Albuquerque NM  -  WINNER: BEST SHORT  -  August 2018
  • Film Fest 52, Bethel CT - Official Selection - August 2018


CORDIAL KILL is a 1980's-era comedy crime film with a modern twist regarding two incompetent mob men on a bleak assignment: to assassinate someone who wronged their boss one too many times. Think if Edgar Wright had directed “Goodfellas” with Tarantino-penned banter. Modeled after the classic crime films of yesteryear, CORDIAL KILL is packed with off-kilter dialogue and a plot that feels conventional until it veers into wild and colorful digressions. What begins as a quirky homage with a mystery at its core develops into a story that is both sincerely tragic yet ultimately endearing.


Post-production concluded in October 2017 and the film is now being submitted to and screened at film festivals.


Cordial Kill began its life as a short story of mine that I began writing in Summer 2015. It was/is the first chapter of a larger crime novel that takes place in 1982 Los Angeles called Blacktop City. I've now adapted it to screenplay form and changed the location from L.A. to Denver. While it is a first chapter, it stands alone as its own self-contained story, and hints at the deeper, darker, and more zany world in which it takes place.

Contrary to my previous writing, Cordial Kill was inspired more-so by movies than by works of written fiction. I can't deny that it draws heavily from the work of Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese (among others). I have always admired these filmmakers' sensibilities and their talents for blending cinematic art with playful humor; for melding dark settings and dangerous characters with quirky scenarios and jarring events that come from out of left field. With Cordial Kill, I'm setting out to tell a similar kind of off-kilter crime story that borrows its tone from movies like Pulp FictionGoodfellasThe French ConnectionThe Departed, and Reservoir Dogs.

While Cordial Kill is technically a crime film, it is an unconventional one that embraces a certain level of quirkiness and absurd humor. And, as with any story I set out to tell, I want to give my readers (in this case, viewers) a sense of surprise and delight. I want to tell a story that will feel initially familiar but ultimately goes into unexpected territory.

Now, not only am I getting to make Cordial Kill into the film that I've always envisioned that it could be, I've also been given the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented people from the film industry who are lending their skills to this project in order to make it as vibrant and beautiful as possible.

Kickstarter pitch video: