FOR INSANE COLLECTORS ONLY
Anton Ilinski | Moscow, Russia | 01/14/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Well, what should I begin with?.. I think we can't discuss movies presented here in terms of normal filmmaking, because all of them are obviously amateur and least to say rather weak. It seems to me they all are kind of student works, maybe they really are, I'm not sure of it. From this point of view Brentwood Home Video did a nice thing and let us get acquainted with flicks we would normally never see, because they would never get wide DVD-release at any studio. As I understand, it is Brentwood's strategy - just check their 4 movie sets or 10 movie sets. So their desire to popularize unknown films is meritorious, these pictures can be rather interesting for cinema-maniacs and persons loving underground films. But to say the truth most of them are just pitiful. Here we have four little indie projects:
"THE STRANGER": A movie by and starring Scott Crowell, about a drifter who calls himself "Nobody" and roams the roads of America philosophizing about our existence's eternal questions. But the main problem of the movie is that it's overly pretentious. The guy tells us copybook maxims and nothing that we don't know of already. It reminded me of Richard Bach's books which are trying to seem something more than they really are. "Nobody" tells us he'd like to create a magnum opus - his own "Moby Dick", "Sgt.Pepper" or "Citizen Kane", and in these words I can only see Scott Crowell's intent to create HIS own magnum opus. And this intent usually gives away a tootler, a graphomaniac. Unfortunately this movie is nothing more than an ambitious apology.
"MOLE": The only more or less worthy film in this box tells a story of a reporter who wants to make a material on subway dwellers - moles (those are people who were born underground and never saw the light). The only way for her to do it is to explore the depths of New York City subway herself. Some moments of the movie are pretty creepy but I permanently got a feeling it's too slow-paced. The cover says "Mole's" length is 70 minutes, in reality it's 50-something minutes and still I sometimes was bored. More action for this kind of a flick!
"JACK'S HABIT": The only thing I liked here was the acting. The characters are rather believable, actors did a very nice job especially Alec Rossel who also has written and directed this film. And in these fields he failed totally. The story of a guy who kills all the girls he finds himself in bed with is old and ineffective. The directing is horrendous, seems like the guy doesn't know where to put a camera and what duration a scene should be so that viewers wouldn't die of boredom. The technical aspects are just unspeakable: the whole thing is shot on video I guess, and there were no such thing as post-production sound recording, all the dialogs were recorded with a boom or even with a camcorder mike, hence half of them are totally indistinct. But I repeat, Alec Rossel has a huge potential as an actor, in the hospital scenes he was great as a doctor, I had a feeling I was watching a documentary.
"NIGHTMARE": Terrible movie on the same old story - people are being killed in a small town one by one, and everybody starts to suspect a wrong man. I'm happy I somehow survived this mess. The movie is terrible, it has nothing to offer, besides the image quality is absolutely awful - seems like the film was transferred from a VHS copy which was re-recorded three times before that.
This edition also contains a 22-minute horror short "CUT" and it's rather amuzing, though predictable. Guess my second star to "Psychotic Tendencies" was for "Cut" in particular and for what "Mole" tried to be. And maybe for Brentwood's effort to give film-freaks something unusual, some afters. Nice try!