Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bellflower (2011)

Written and Directed by Evan Glodell
Starring: Evan Glodell, Tyler Dawson, Jessie Wiseman

Woodrow (Glodell) and Aiden (Dawson) are two slacker buddies living in Southern California. They are unemployed, and  have no one else in their lives but each other. They fill their days trying to build a flamethrower and a souped-up hot rod that belches fire. They believe that some form of an imaginary gang by the name of "Mother Medusa" will form up, which they will lead.  Both are obsessed with post-apocalyptic life similar to their favorite film, Mad Max (1979.) They think that if they can build the car and flame thrower, they can travel like wild banshees and live free in a post-apocalyptic world. Woodrow then meets a girl named Hilly (Jessie Wiseman), they have some good times, fall in love, then she breaks his heart. The story then turns into a twisted tale of revenge.  Woodrow and Aiden spiral out of control, each on a path of self-destruction. Or was the whole thing just a dream? 

A film like this shows what an independent filmmaker can do with a $17,000 budget, and then turn that into a six figure profit. The cinematography is gritty and raw, but adds to the dark element to the film. The original score fits perfectly into a film like this as well. Though the narrative bounces back and forth, and seems a little confusing at times, it's actually an enjoyable film to watch. While the acting abilities of the cast aren't the greatest, and the plot is "way out there," it doesn't really matter. I liked it for the sheer fact that this film isn't what you would "normally" go to see at the theater. The story isn't all "neat and pretty" and you probably wouldn't go and show it to your kids. But, it's art and it's entertaining to consenting audiences.  If Glodell can take $17,000 and turn that into a profit, what would he do if he had a blockbuster budget? The possibilities for this young director are endless...

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