44 min., 2011
Directed by Joshua Kennedy
A loving tribute to the drive-in movies of the 50s.
* * *
Back from the war, Daniel Davis (Joshua Kennedy) goes to look for his ex-girlfriend, Janet Lawton (Andrea Negrete). He goes to the hotel where she works and after some time they bump into one another. They talk a bit and Janet introduces him to Glen Fitzgerald (Alex Villarreal) who is the executive director of the place where Daniel is going to work. Glen leaves and Daniel and Janet talk a little more. The next day Daniel gets a tour of the factory where he will be working by Glen. He is then introduced to Eric Gunther (Joshua Palacios) who is the president of the company. After a few strange occurrences Daniel starts to think that something isn’t right, especially when he sees Glen rip off Eric’s face to reveal a skeleton with an octopus on its head. He runs to Janet and after some talking he figures out that the Octopies (the name of their pies) that the company is selling has octopus eggs in them and that is how Eric is trying to take over the world. Can Daniel save the day or will the Octopus People take over the world with their evil scheme?
Before I go any further I just want to ask you to think back to when you were sixteen years old. I remember being terrified of driving, reading X-Men comics, playing SNES and my Sega Genesis/CD and watching a shit ton of horror movies. So for the most part I don’t think that the majority of us were doing things that will really leave an impact. That being said, this movie was written, directed and acted by a sixteen year old. That is amazing in my opinion. It’s not a movie that will ever get the true recognition that it deserves, but I hope that I can shed some light on this fun and clever movie.
The acting in the movie is actually pretty darn good. Now you have to understand (as I said before) that they are only in their teens so I have taken that into consideration. Joshua Kennedy does a great job of capturing the classic drive-in feel of the lead character. My favorite thing about him is when he delivers certain lines, because if you weren’t looking at the screen you would really think that you were watching some thirty year old in a classic drive-in movie. It’s just great. My favorite (without a doubt) was Alex Villarreal. He really caught the hammy and over-the-top character of that age and he really ran with it. Every time he was on screen I was just waiting for him to talk, he was that much fun to watch.
The effects of the movie are exactly what you should expect from a backyard movie and a sixteen year old. That’s not to say that they aren’t actually pretty inventive. There is stop motion, blue screen and models, but my favorite was the balloon and tube octopuses. Yes you can sit and complain that they are lame and don’t look realistic, but for what this movie is they look perfect. My other favorite is the use of plastic garbage bags when some employees are breaking out of pods (?). It’s really simple but it’s actually affective.
My hat goes off to Joshua and his movie. It’s really a fun movie, but you have to be ready for what you are going to watch. It’s a nod in every way shape and form to the classic drive-ins. Don’t look for a masterpiece just look for a really fun movie. He really does know the movies and he put a lot into the movie, so give it a shot and you may find something really fun. With the praise out of the way I will bring up my only real complaint. The sound. There are quite a few times where the sound is just terrible and it took me out of the mood. I don’t know if it was on purpose, but for your next movie that would be the only thing to fix.Have You Read...?