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quietearth [Celluloid 03.14.09] movie review horror drama

[Editor's note: This has been running the fest circuit for the past year and just played at SXSW]

Year: 2008
Release date: Unknown
Directors: Deagol Brothers
Writers: Deagol Brothers & Cody DeVos & Eric Lehning
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 6 out of 10

Words and performance on the event horizon of a blackhole. That was the first few minutes, a whirlwind which traded places with something more cohesive, an ingenious little introduction (which involved odd little flashbacks) for each character and a taste of the rich white middle-American apple pie. And for all it's taste and inward teen deviance (or normality?), Make-Out With Violence is a great story which unfortunately holds a void I can't quite put my finger on. Is it the lack of proper character emoting? Was it something more twisted I desired? I'm still not sure, but I do know one thing: The Deagol brothers are definitely a pair to watch.

Suited with Wes Anderson style characters that looked a tad bit old for the part, each one had a distinct personality flavor. Patrick with his confidence, his twin brother Carol (yes he got a girls name through some apparent lack of parental discourse) shy and thoughtful. Their little brother Beetle and his insistence on being a big, and friend Addy who fits some rich post-alternative caricature and is also Carol's constant crush. Patrick's flame is the focal point of our story, the dead girl Wendy and guess what? After disappearing she comes back to life, a zombie, but not so much the flesh eating brains type but more the creepy half-dead automaton.

You may be wondering where the title comes in? Well I did as well, but unfortunately I can't give that away. Instead I'll tell you how the twin brothers keep ZombWendy locked in a friends for one exciting, fun filled summer. No this isn't Deadgirl, not even close, but it is a story of dealing with loss, love and longing in it's many, many forms narrated completely by Beetle. Yes, young Beetle gives us the lowdown on life, the how and the simple reason why in a form far more mature then his age.

Beetle's ledger juxtaposes so many beautifully shot landscapes, courtesy of a trio of cinematographers, that it almost made me want to overlook the films many flaws. Some slightly off-kilter ADR, a communal listlessness that just didn't work, and as I said before, that character emoting thing. We need more realistic reactions, but I hate to say that I don't think it was the actors fault, it was just a mere matter of inexperience on the directors side.

But with these flaws the film contains many gems like my favorite line "let's get awesome!" and another I think the Deagol brothers might have coined: "sleaze comfort". You're going to have to watch the film to get that one, but I'll give you a hint: it's used after loss. What do I think in the end with the strong points of character development, production design and story? Simply put, the Deagol brothers are going to make something much, much bigger one day and I would recommend this film even with it's problems and my rating of 6.5.

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