Movie Review-Theatre of the Deranged

Coming to DVD July 24th

Plot-Welcome to the latest anthology film called Theatre of the Deranged, this Dvd is 5 shorts hosted by a character who calls himself Andy the Arsonist. This is like a social networking/indie film who’s who. You got Creepersin, Bressack, Shawn C Phillips, Brian Dorton, and the always good for any film Sophie Dee, among others.

Review-This film goes a little over 60 minutes and some of it really was cool and some of it was not so good. On the note, we are going to break this down and open the curtains on this theatre.

The good-
Director Liz Gilbert and her short film Bad Dennis. This short was so simple of a premise that to pull this off entertainingly was a shocker. You have the basic concept of 4 people going on a road trip and on their way to their destiny, they stop by a cider stand and buy some cider and drive off. They get to the countryside to hang out for a good day of love, sex and all that fun stuff you do in the middle of nowhere. Well, something is hunting them and one by one they are being pursued. See simple concept, the script for this short was so thought out, that you knew the director put a lot of thought into trying to make the characters smart yet darkly amusing. Of all the shorts on this compilation, this had the most personality. Each character was trying so hard to outdo the other that you knew they were all onboard to make this concept work. And, to pull off the ending it did, was not only brave but it showed Liz wants to be taken serious and she has the chops to make it happen. This is the definition of DIY for pennies and making it look like a major production. Sure some of the dead bodies looked fake, but the heart and personality of this film, made it fun nonetheless.

Director Creep Creepersin and his short film Cannibal Blood Girl. This is the best short on this dvd, and let us look at the selling point Creep and his fucked up sick mind. To get hot porn star Sophie Dee to play the Blood Girl was such a coo. This story out of the mind of Creepersin is just your wholesome family values. 3 guys take 2 hot women to a secluded area to rape them, and Dirk who leads this gang of fuck ups tell the girls a story of a porn star that he raped and killed. Well, the dead and has risen, and now is spewing some kind of acid blood juice out of any hole that can shoot a juice out. This is pure sleaze; gore and non-apologetic fuck you, middle finger sticking out fun. While Bad Dennis made it a thought provoking affair, this one provoked other things and my thought was not one. I would love to see a full length film of this concept and if anyone could pull this off it would be the Creep. If you have no other selling point to buy this dvd, it is this.

Director Brian Dorton and his film Doll Parts. Starting off in black and white it tells the tale of a deranged kid named Travis. We watch as the short starts, he is cutting up and burning dolls. Why, we never really know? Well, he goes on a killing spree and then we fast forward to color and 15 years later and he is proven innocent of the crimes, and lives in a basement. Like any other neighborhood, the neighbors are noticing he is staying there and are worried. Of all the shorts, this was the most ambitious. From the black and white beginning to just the acting and dialogue. The kills in this film were very well done, and were very effective. This film has so much positive going for it, that I almost wished it would not have taken the route it did in the end, while it was clever I assume, it really did not add anything to the film. But, the positive to this being it took nothing away from it.

The In Between-
Director James Cullen Bressack and his very short film Speak Easy. Jack and Alex are having a back and forth almost paranoid conversation about where was one of them at last night, which leads to accusations of fucking one’s girlfriend and all that fun stuff. This lasted probably 6 minutes and while the payoff to the short was cool, the short just was so ambitious that I felt it needed to be longer to be effective and maybe explained more. This was the one short I was the most stoked about, given that I really dug My Pure Joy so much. But, I give the man credit he is trying new ideas with older ideas, and I guess films like this are for the greater good when he gets his major picture deal. Compared to the 3 before it, this just seemed like ho hum. Not the worst, but definitely James can do so much better.

The Bad-
Director James Cullen Bressack and The host segments with Andy the Arsonist. No offense to Cory Jacob, he is probably a great guy and fun to hang out with. He made this character of Andy so boring and bland that compared to other hosts of other anthologies, this one just felt so lame. Now, I will give him kudos for taking the hammer to James Cullen Bressack. The humor was not even fun bad; it was just bland like he was trying to be clever. Where I felt some of these shorts should have been a lot longer and this guy a lot less. Andy the Arsonist loves to set fire to things, we get the joke. Not once in this film does this guy set any fires or even tempted to, but yet he is an arsonist? It would be like hanging out with a porn star and about to do the do and she tells you she is now celibate. But, as bad as this was, there was something a lot worst.

The Worst-
Director M Kelley and Shawn C Phillips and the short to start the whole anthology Lust for Blood. This is indie film a million years ago when indie studios were only small mom and pop studios with no budget but a great concept of lying on cover art and making a film look like something amazing. What they were doing, were making hand made films and claiming to be part of the industry. This is that smart horror short; you know the one that is a story inside a story. A father and son sit outside one night and the father tells his son this story called Lust for Blood. The story revolves around Shawn who plays some non-believer of fortune tellers, who meets a fortune teller at the county fair, and he wants to know his future. She gives him some liquid to drink, and of course with any stranger you insult who offers you any liquid you should drink it. Well, it changes him into some monster like a zombie monster thing. The kills in this film ranged from awful to just so uninspired. Now, I could never do better myself and I know this, and I have talked to Shawn many times and he is a great guy. If this was a review about the person, it would be positive but this short which I know they are both so proud of, is just awful. The shower scene, come on guys seriously, the girl who is in the shower has clothes on and she is smiling. At least Creepersin and Dorton went for the nudity; well at least Creepersin went for the female nudity. This is indie film 1998, Fries and Hollywood home video with a phone cam and a dollar for effects, they did not even try.

As the curtains start to close on our feature as you can see there is a lot to recommend and a lot to sort of be wary of. Creepersin, Liz and Dorton gave us some stuff to really make the price of this dvd worthwhile. This is almost like a road map of where indie DIY film making has been and is going. Trust me where it is going is way more exciting than where this film shows you it has been. Lust for Blood is such an insult to indie films. It would be like if Lady Gaga tried to do death metal. In 1999, it would have felt like the new wave of film making but today it just feels like such a cruel reminder at how we as fans used to get fucked by indie film boxes back in the day, and those shitty hand held mom and pop features.

7.5 out of 10