Bitters and Blue Ruin (2002) is a black-and-white neo-noir film shot in Philadelphia which centers on the ills of absinthe addiction.
Written by director Sean Kelley and producer Scott Elwell, the plot centers on Professor Roddy Schiffman (Bruce P. Wilson), a big wheel in the psychological community of the day, who is knee-deep in his latest research project: an academic text on pathological narcissism. Though his last book was a big hit, things don't look so rosy this time around; Roddy has writer's block.
Things take a further nosedive when Roddy loses control and decks graduate student Sal Unmarino, who slinks back to his advisor and Roddy's rival Professor Slavko P. Slavko (John Bravo). Sal spills his guts, painting a picture of a Roddy who's not only desperate to complete the book, but who has lapsed back into his old ways, hitting the cups hard.
Slavco senses that something is not quite right, but even he is shocked when a clandestine search through Roddy's office reveals that Roddy has been blowing Sal off and running with a former Hollywood pretty boy, now full-time nobody named Chester Trunche. What in blue blazes could Roddy be up to?...
What follows is the story of a