Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|I Pass For Human|
Actors: Joshua Cox, Eleanor Whitledge, Eva Scott, Jennifer Ciesar, E. Shepherd Stevenson
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Mourning the loss of her overdosed lover Dax, Jane does heroin for the first time and suddenly finds herself seeing people that aren't there. She soon realizes she is being haunted by the ghosts of dead addicts. Troub... more »
Chris D.'s Tombstone Dialect
g. speedlace | Hollywood, CA | 01/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Chris D. has long been the kind of artist whose work manages to create sharp divisions of opinion, and this, his first feature film, is going to prove no exception. But that's only to be expected when nothing you produce quite fits the tiny boxes critics are determined to squeeze it into for the sake of convenience. The man can be a hard sell, period.
I PASS FOR HUMAN is a horror movie, and it's a film about addiction. But viewers going in burdened by fixed notions about what either of those labels mean are bound to miss the point. It's not a horror movie with a lot of "boo!" scares or gore, and it's not an addiction film in the "classic" sense, like say THE LOST WEEKEND or REQUIEM FOR A DREAM.
What it boils down to is something unique: a hard-nosed portrait of a woman trapped in the inexorably turning whirlpool that is the malaise and uncertainty of addicts and the addict lifestyle, filtered through a decidedly grim take on the street-level L.A. music scene and vampirism (note: not necessarily the same thing). For those who demand comparisons, think somewhere between PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK and CARNIVAL OF SOULS.
The DVD commentary with Chris D. and producer Lynne Marguiles is an engaging listen, both for admirers of the film and would-be filmmakers alike. Their entertaining reminiscences of the ups and downs of DIY production are sure to bring inspiration and comfort to even the most forlorn no-budget filmmaker.
Also worth mentioning is the inclusion of 'Le Ciel de Sang,' an early 70s vampire-themed short inspired by Hammer films and Italian gothics of the 60s in which Chris D. somehow manages to create a brief and hypnotic 'Rollinade' - decades before Jean Rollin's films made it to these shores! Call it another case of gifted minds thinking alike."
I loved it!
tyuiopas | 04/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"POSSIBLE SPOILERS: I'm not sure if one of the other guys reviewing here, who was complaining about the image quality, saw the same movie or what. For a movie shot on video, this looks good! It's not too bright -- which is often what makes digital movies look like, well...video. It also has good contrast, nice use of color and color correction which is another thing that is hard to get right on digital video films, at least as far as giving the movie a `film' feel. It's obvious there were many scenes where these guys took their time lighting the scene to get maximum eerie atmosphere and it shows. There were a few times when I forgot I was watching a digital video movie (of course, if you have your brightness levels up too high on your TV set, films that were shot on film are going to have a washed-out look, too!) So in other words, this doesn't look bad at all. Okay, enough on tech stuff. The story, although not strikingly original, is done in an inventive fashion and is very skillful at the way it layers back story details through flashbacks, gradually revealing the secrets of some of the major characters, and how they got to be what they are (either dying from drug overdoses or hiding guilty secrets, which in turn makes their addiction worse.) Acting is good all around, especially the two leads who play Jane and Rick - far better acting than you usually find in movies this low budget. The actress who plays Azami the main bloodsucker, also makes a great, scary vampire. She should be out there looking for more horror picture work. As far as influences, I was already a bit familiar with writer/director Chris D.'s work with his bands The Flesh Eaters and Divine Horsemen, so was aware of his inspirations from movies. You can definitely feel a seventies Euro vibe as well as style influences from nineties Japanese horror (done in a much more subtle and effective way than most of the lackluster remakes of Japanese horror of the past few years.) Chris and producer Lynne Margulies talk on the commentary track about influences (as in a lot of Mario Bava's films) and some other films with similar endings - as in CARNIVAL OF SOULS, THE OTHERS and Franco's VENUS IN FURS, which I had thought of, too, but I also was reminded a little bit of Elke Sommer's character in LISA AND THE DEVIL and Naomi Watts character at the end of MULHOLLAND DRIVE (although Lynch's movie was more abstract and circuitous the way it came to that conclusion and with a few hints dropped beforehand.) Another positive aspect is the stupendous use of music here, with plenty of atmospheric stuff - the songs on the soundtrack are all cool (not lame, as in many other horror movies of the last decade.) In fact, I heard about this movie in a roundabout way when I picked up the album "Miss Muerte" by Chris D.'s band The Flesh Eaters from 2003 (there are a couple of songs from it - "Miss Muerte" and "Azami" on the I PASS FOR HUMAN soundtrack.) Recommended all the way around."