"Eagle Films & Alpha New Cinema...The Despiser (2002) ~Phili
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 08/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Alpha New Cinema Video and Eagle Films present "THE DESPISER" (2003) (105 mins - Color)...On the razor's edge between life and death there is a place where a war is being waged for the future of your mortal soul...your enemies are fierce and your survival uncertain...you battle evil to save your soul, the battle for your soul has just begun, we're Gods trash men set to right the mess...this is taken from the opening of the trailer for "The Despiser", now the fun begins...Writer/director Cook creates a world that's vibrant cross between live action and stunning CG effects...experience the darkly magical landscape guaranteed to keep fantasy fans in ecstasy that only Cook can bring to the screen..
Under director Philip J. Cook who is also producer, writer and cinematographer, sound recorded by Mark Hyde, director of character animation and creature designed Cory Collins, special animation projects William Dempsey, computer engineering Geoffrey Cook, costume designer Helen Cook, additional costumes provided by The Costume Castle of Jim Henson, special makeup effects by Richard Dorton and Mark Redfield, film editor and art director, prop builder is Norman Gagnon, Walter Suarez is pyrotechnician, stunt coordinators Dan Poole and Richard Dorton...cast includes Mark Redfield .(Gordon Hauge), Doug Brown .(Carl Nimbus), Gage Sheridan .(Maggie Hauge), Frank Smith .(Fumie Tomasawa), Michael Weitz (Jake Tulley), Tara Bilkins (Charlie Roadtrap), Mike Diesel .(Norman (as Mike Cuccherini), Mark Hyde .(Last Shadowman and Jeff the Jumper), Andrew Bartlett .(Talking Ragman/Ragman), Enrique Castillo .(Ragman), Alexandra Cook .(Older Child on Highway), Helen Cook .(Nurse #2/Ragman), Philip J. Cook (Despiser/Troll (voice), Roxanne Cook (Younger Child on Highway), Greg Cooper (TrashBag Man), Richard Dorton (Shadowman #2), Norman Gagnon (Construction Worker/Laughing Ragman), Christopher Hahn (Scribner), Hain Laramore (Dr. Pollet), Brian Neary (Ben), Dan Poole (Shadowman #1), Jeff Rathner (Shadowman in Church), Barbara Sonnenblick (Mrs. Barkman) . . . . . Director Phil Cook's film "The Despiser" is a grand a cinematic production right up there with Hollywood, considering it's small budget turns out to be top notch...back to our story, when Gordon Hauge first enters Purgatory, shortly after his wife leaves him, he finds the video world both frightening and fascinating...the audience quickly falls into place as the nature of Purgatory for what it is and never knowing what comes up next, has a very unique look about it...even the characters go so far as to comment on the surreal nature of Purgatory...like everyone stuck in Purgatory, all they want is a way out, something everyone seems to think Gordon Hauge can give them, especially the Despiser....the lost souls of Purgatory have been divided into two camps, the good guys and the bad guys...the film works on two spheres of relationships, one of Gordon and his wife, plus Gordon and his spiritual comrades...director Cook keeps the action fast and nowhere is the dialogue boring or off the scale...the entire production has an excellent cast consisting of outstanding performances...must make mention, it received recognition for Best Picture and Best Director is Philip Cook from the Firelight Shocks Films Festival, also Best Special Effects (Feature) from Shriekfest...which is no small feat in this world of film making.
Special footnote, from Philip Cook who has written, directed, and/or photographed dozens of commercials, films, program opens, and on-air IDs for many clients. He holds a degree from the University of Maryland in film production and has won several awards, including a CLIO in 1983 for his work for MTV and an award for the rock video "Don't Answer Me" for The Alan Parsons Project. Producer, director, writer PHILIP COOK started out as a cinematographer for the animation company Broadcast Arts--whose great claim to fame was producing PEE WEE'S PLAYHOUSE. At twenty-four, Cook went on to write and direct his first feature, STAR QUEST, which aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. He then wrote and directed INVADER, which aired on HBO, Showtime and Cinemax. He has produced countless political campaign commercials and high end corporate image pieces for leading telecomm companies. He owns Eagle Films, a production and visual effect company. He is currently in pre production on the rousing prequel to DESPISER set in 4th century Britain...check additional comments from Philip Cook's Eagle Films website.
Another special footnote is the film is also nicely scored, with atmospheric electronic ambiance, although none is given credit...director Cook explains, "The music score is stock that I licensed from Firestorm," referring to one of several stock music licensing firms that provide library music to films like Cook's. "I went through their whole Hollywood Film Music library and culled the tracks that had the right mood and were stylistically similar. The ones I liked tended to be created by the same guy, Robert Walsh. Considering that DESPISER is basically wall-to-wall music, was the only economic solution."
Phil's experience as a story teller, tempered by his understanding of budgets and the need to put every production dollar on the screen allows him to provide his clients with creative coherency, maximized efficiency and top production value.
1. Audio commentary with director Philip Cook
2. "Making of Despiser" (interesting featurette)
3. Bloopers & Mistakes
4. Deleted Scenes
5. Picture Gallery
7. Animated Story Board to Film Comparison
The future of DESPISER doesn't stop with a single feature, as explained by Eagle Films creator Philip Cook. "The concept is very intriguing and could be pursued much further. It's a fascinating world that opens up numerous story opportunities. One possibility would be a miniseries. Each segment could explore a different level of purgatory, defined in many ways by the perspective of its inhabitants. And just think of the fascinating characters who could slip in from times past. Some might still have axes to grind, or others may be trying to make amends for the sins of their past life. It could dramatically and visually be quite captivating and original, an adventure with something to say about heroism, sacrifice, fanaticism and sin--all wrapped in wild visually exciting adventure with international appeal".
Great job by Alpha Video for releasing "THE DESPISER" (2003)...looking forward to more releases from director Philip Cook...order your copy now from Amazon or Alpha Video where there are plenty of copies available on DVD, stay tuned once again for another Alpha New Cinema entertainment video...closing credits, this film is dedicated to the memory of Constance Hubbard.
Total Time: 105 min on DVD ~ Alpha Video 1015D ~ (9/27/2005)"
An imaginative and cool fantasy!
Videoventurer | 01/30/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"DESPISER is a wild little film. Made for almost nothing, I found it refreshing and innovative for its budget. I could easily have seen this as a main stream Hollywood flick with some star power and money behind it -- an imaginative and cool fantasy. It's certainly better than most of the shot on video features that liter the shelves of rental stores.
There is undeniably a lot to enjoy in Despiser. It's an ambitious project ... Given its budget, it achieves much... I'd like to see what Phil Cook could do with some Hollywood resources or even some decent indie financial backing. If you like a fantasy adventure that's not cynical, has a lot of action and an fairly original storyline, check it out. If your in it just for T&A and blood and an gore, it won't be your cup of tea."
"Someplace North Of Hell And South Of Heaven" ~ When Purgato
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 03/16/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"What would happen if Purgatory ceased to serve it's primary function of moving departed souls along to the next and final phase of their Afterlife? Certainly would mean there'd be a lot of human souls piling up in a hurry. It's quite an interesting concept for a storyline don't you think?
The 'Despiser' has a truly inventive storyline and does the best it can to deliver some entertainment value to the viewer. Yes it was filmed on a very low budget with a cast of unknowns and the special effects are somewhat disconcerting but when all is said and done I think it does a surprisingly admirable job of delivering the goods. The ending is absolutely perfect!
Again, don't expect too much and you might be surprised. I would say it's worth a watch or two.
My Rating: -3 1/2 Stars-."
Very fun and inventive
tylerrabbit | 05/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Despiser gets a bad rap on this board for being so low budget, but if you watch the 'making of 'stuff on the DVD you realize that this is made by a guy who isn't connected to Hollywood geographically or otherwise ( Philip Cook). The actors are mostly friends and obviously aren't Hollywood types- I find that refreshing. While people complain about the extensive use of low-end CGI effects, I find the effects to be one of the elements that makes Despiser such a charming experience. The effects don't try to fool you, they serve the overall look and ingenuity of the production. Hollywood effects often cost millions of dollars and are created on extremely expensive workstations but usually don't fool you either so this makes the effects in Despiser feel more honest and artistic. .This film is a very large and ambitious vision pulled off for very VERY little money, with a decent video camera, home computers, and sets built from stuff purchased at the home depot. In spite of it's home-made feel I don't consider this to be amateur or naiive cinema because it actually consists of a well thought out story and production. I totally admire this films gusto and ingenuity. 9 out of 10 stars."