After dating a wonderful man, Hope comes back home, sees her daughter Jennifer and goes to sleep. She wakes-up in the woods with a psychopath, fighting to survive for more than forty days ... See full summary »
A deranged psychotic spends his summer day deciding how to deal with the three captives he has chained up on his land. With only his own troubled mind and his dim-witted companion available... See full summary »
Junkie is a pitch black comedy about two heavily addicted, drug addled brothers, Danny (Daniel Louis Rivas) and Nicky (Robert LaSardo). When Danny decides he's going clean, Nicky reacts ... See full summary »
Daniel Louis Rivas,
A young girl is drawn back to the village where her father went on a killing spree fifteen years earlier to the day of this solar eclipse. At first, it seems disturbingly quiet. Then all hell breaks loose...
With a pocketful of drugs, Nick West takes out his girlfriend Sammy, for a good time. When they explore an abandoned asylum, the discovery of a bizarre device, a cross between an electric ... See full summary »
Returning from vacation, the Miller family find their home has been broken into. After cleaning up the mess they continue with their lives, shaking off the feeling of being violated. But little do they know the nightmare has just begun.
Thomas Luster is a troubled businessman who tries to make sense of a life being driven out-of-control by a force closer to home than he first realizes. When he discovers that the man ... See full summary »
Antoni Maiovvi's Darkroom is a journey into the mind of a deranged serial killer, haunted and eventually destroyed by the ghost of his own desire. Indebted to the works of Jörg Buttgereit ... See full summary »
Director Maya Newell is a Gayby - she has lesbian mums. After years of answering questions about her upbringing, Maya's ready to find out what impact having same-sex parents might have on ... See full summary »
Yeah, I saw Dust at the FrightFest, too. I left with a headache tortuously far into the trippy bits. I know you get square-eyed at that Festival anyway - but this one went a long way to knocking me sideways good and early in the afternoon.
It was hard to follow - partly because of the fuzzy, Betamax projection and a somewhat loud, overly pumping soundtrack, which obscured key dialog. It didn't help that it screened in tandem with an empty, slick, self-consciously "Hey, kids, we're hip, too" C4 telly production about sleep deprivation that was, mercifully, as brief as it was irritating. Half an hour of that started the Exodus. I was ready to follow. But I guess something in the opening of Dust kept me in my seat.
From early on, there were bits that made me laugh out loud despite - or, as has been said, perhaps because of - a cast of unlikeable characters you thoroughly wanted to die. I was pleased to get away from it, but: something about the framing, the use of colour, the wacky jump-cuts and flash-frames; the sheer unpleasantness of the protagonists - perhaps sympathy for the half-wit, Pigsy, and his lovelorn, oafish brother - nagged me long after the rest of the film had faded in the back of my mind like one of those nine-hour, nightmare coach-rides from Newcastle.
Mason and Jonty Acton (co-director of 13th Sign', that had screened fuzzily at the previous FrightFest) seem to have a way of doing that. On the surface, you've just watched a half-finished, cliché-ridden, un-thought-through movie. Underneath, though, someone has tweaked your psyche in a nasty way the sadist learing back at you behind soft, rosy, middle-class assurance like Ronald Searle cartoons in the Sunday Times; or a Cohen Brothers movie set in Rickmansworth.
So when a friend insisted on showing me his pre-release DVD copy last week I was not totally out to resist. Viewed on telly - letterbox format chillin out with a can or two of Stella, it suddenly came into its own. The picture quality was sharp, the sound quality clear - bassy, rather than booming - with a catchy soundtrack. And suddenly I got the point: I was watching TV. Despite the credits, this film wasn't designed to compete with cinematic masterpieces like Blood Simple, for example; or 'Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer' (the latter was unfaultable but, let's face it, who actually rushed to see it again? Please don't give them my phone number).
It starts in the style of a kitsch TV movie already veering wildly off-course as though the casting department and crew of Ballykissangel had just been introduced to PCPs. Set alongside your average peak-audience telly specials with the neurotic housewives, the balding detectives, the period-costumed soft-porn that fashionably debases our greatest literature, it would stand out a mile. Even compare it to those formulaic Lock-Stock spin-offs. Something DIFFERENT happens. And it's funny. And it is, in fact, very well shot. Yeah, there's still too much mayhem in the middle for my taste, and the hillbilly music gets a bit trying in places but then the noise stops, and Mason leaves you with an almost wistful pastiche of some sixties European Film-Noir. And you get that creeping sense (probably false), that perhaps there was something more to it after all - and maybe you should watch it again, someday, just in case.
It's definitely not Paranoid Celluloid's masterpiece, which yes - I believe is yet to come (rumours are of a Director's Cut and Sequel to 13th Sign next under commission from transatlantic distributors). But independent film-making it is. And - for any telly movie - that's a singular achievement. I guess people around the world will be tuning into this one on cable at four o'clock in the morning after Inspectors Morse and Frost, Monarch of the Glen, and the conceivers, producers and performers of BBC2's Crime and Punishment or ITV's lugubrious Forsyte Saga, are long-buried.
3 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this