The Thirteenth Monkey | Silly Valley, CA United States | 03/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Have you ever seen a night orchid? I hadn't until I tuned into this charming indie filmed in central Florida. Neither had Clay Doyle (played by Dale Paris) until he wandered into the thriving metropolis of Ochopee and tuned into the attractive and winsome Sarah Miller (Alyssa Simon). In Clay's case 'tune' has a special meaning; since the age of 7 he has received psychic suggestions about violent events from the past, brought on by inhabiting the space in which they occured. Soon enough the overwhleming question becomes "Who killed Sarah Miller?" If all of this sounds vaguely like 'David Lynch meets Sixth Sense' it is only to give the reader a reference rather than imply a ripoff (besides, 'Night Orchid' was filmed before that more famous film, and for that matter, preceded the worthwhile psychic mystery 'Stir of Echoes' as well).To be fair, director Mark Atkins acknowledges a debt to Lynch in his feature commentary, which is informative and lively. Various other cast members beam into the commentary via tapes they sent, which is a blessing in disguise since the individual timbre of their recordings helps sort them out. Aside from the commentary there are some token deleted scenes, but these are not extensive.On a technical level the disc is well-done, though there are a couple of curious drop-outs in the soundtrack during one scene. Since it is music rather than dialogue, nothing informative is lost, but the effect is jolting at first. If this sort of film is your cup of tea, I wouldn't hesitate to add it to your collection. I was rather surprised to be its first reviewer and made a point to put in my two cents in hopes of winning it a wider audience. 'Night Orchid' is wants to connect with you."
Haunting Southern Gothic
lewbrighton | San Francisco, CA | 06/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone interested in good independent movies should get the DVD of Mark Atkins' Southern Gothic thriller NIGHT ORCHID. It's spooky yet also quite funny, and manages to keep you guessing right up to the surprise ending. The commentary on the DVD, one of the better ones that I've heard, is full of interesting stories and facts about the making of this film. I first saw NIGHT ORCHID at the New Orleans Film Festival where I had the good fortune to meet the director and some of the cast, including my favorite performer in the movie, Mary Ellen O'Brien, who plays an unforgettably quirky landlady June Mabel. The movie won Best First Feature by a Louisiana artist at the festival."