Saturday, June 28, 2014
Written & Directed By: Evan Glodell
Cinematography By: Joel Hodge
Editor: Joel Hodge, Evan Glodell, Vincent Grashaw & Jonathan Keevil
Music By: Jonathan Keevil
Cast: Evan Glodell, Jessie Wiseman, Tyler Dawson, Rebekah Brandes, Vincent Grashaw
Bellflower follows two friends as they venture out into the world to begin their adult lives. Literally all their free time is spent building flame-throwers and weapons of mass destruction in hopes that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang "Mother Medusa". While waiting for the world to end, their call to excitement comes unexpectedly when one of them meets a charismatic young woman and falls hard in love. Quickly integrated into a new group of friends, they set off on a journey of betrayal, love, hate, infidelity and extreme violence more devastating and fiery than any of their apocalyptic fantasies. Often life's simplest and most obvious truths are the hardest to see, but once you've burned everything to the ground it may be the only thing left standing.
This film was truly a hands on experience and labor of love as everyone involved helped out as more than just cast. In fact several members of the cast did double and triple duty. For instance female lead Jessie Wiseman was also the make-up artist on set. Truly a collective effort put into help create a singular vision.
This film is a difficult animal. Not meaning it's a bad film, it's just that the film isn't light. It's ferocious at first it seems nice and well meaning then it seems to get cornered and t's fangs and claws come out.
At first the film Is a misdirection as it seems like the film will be an action film or a post apocalyptic one if you go just by the poster and box art. But once you actually watch the film it Appears to actually be a romance more taken from a man's point of view. It's rough and realistic in the beginning not really sweet though different then from what you would expect. As everything feels gritty not in a urban drama or crime film, but more again rough. Though at the films heart is this romance and friendship. That the lead has with his friend as they have fun engineering This car Medusa that they want I look post apocalyptic as well as building their own flame throwers. As his love life grows though you notice it puts a strain on the friendship. His friend is happy for him being happy but it is driving a wedge between them. Not on purpose that is just what happens when you spend all it tome with a biddy then someone new comes along. Who you spend your free time with. We have all been there.
Then the second half of the film begins with a betrayal and an accident that sees the rest of the film flying on total nihlistic road. Full speed ahead. That feels partially like a different film and also a rather bleak and depressing one. That while disturbing really works as it seems to be a meditation on Breaking up with a person. Or a meditation of a broken heart. Of course taken to extremes. Though that is why his noteworthy it doesn't make any apologies for it's behavior which get violent and nasty. Though deals with more the scary feelings you feel once you have broken up with someone or been betrayed. That makes the films major theme come down to loyalty. As after the break up happens. Not only does it become about obsession, but also revenge and trying to move on but can't even though it would be healthier to. It's like there is some unfinished business as there was a break up bit not on certain terms. You can't cut no of it heart and feelings so easily especially when it wasn't expected.
This film is more of a male romantic film. That then turns ugly as it's emotional truth and in a way to be emotional though in a tough way.
No functionality of the Medusa car was faked during filming. The real-life car is equipped with two flamethrowers, smoke screen, a bleach drift-kit, adjustable rear suspension, and 3 surveillance cameras; all controlled from the dashboard. It also has a roll cage and stow-able, fold-down back seat. The 'Medusa' car shot flames 40 feet into the air and on a key scene accidentally scorched the power lines above and the car itself caught fire.
The film Is remarkable also because director-writer-star not only did all those jobs but he also built all the cameras and the camera equipment himself. That is why The film has a particular look a yellow/orange color and also it seems a constant haze. And why in some scenes the camera seems to have the scope of a fish eyes lens though doesn't have the velocity of one.
Shot on hand-made, one of a kind cameras built around a prototype Silicon Imaging SI-2K mini.
Director Evan Glodell built his first flamethrower at the age of 12. It was prone to malfunction and only had a 6 foot range.
The creation and production of this film is just as interesting and original as what happens on screen.
The film is truly something special, bit definitely not for everyone as I believe it can be polarizing. I just applaud the film for going in it's own way that is shocking but doesn't feel exploitive nor shocking just to be shocking.
Evan Glodell and Jessie Wiseman actually had to eat several live crickets during a scene where their characters meet while competing in a cricket eating contest.
I also applaud a film that has characters that feel real and not cookie cutter or invented. When most guys are writers directors and choose to star they make their characters such good guys with bee few flaws that they must overcome. Easily. In this film the main character starts of that way, but slowly seems to become a monster by force or just is losing his mind. The cast look real and don't make thier characters saints, not do you always understand their decisions and the film doesn't feel a need I always how or explain. Some people are self destructive and some just make mistakes that they didn't think would blow up to be so big.
Evan Glodell and Tyler Dawson, now old friends, originally met in 2003 after Evan saw him in a small play and cast him as the role of Aiden. The early version of the film was to be shot on a camcorder, mostly inside Evan's small apartment. Five years later, after an attempt to make Bellflower and working on many other projects (and at one point becoming roommates), they finally returned to the original purpose of their meeting when the current version of Bellflower went into production in 2008.
Definitely worth checking out. It’s a film that stays with you and won’t soon forget.