Written by: FFT Webmaster | September 30th, 2011
OUT OF 4
A stunning, ultra-low budget first feature from Evan Glodell, “Bellflower” is a dark and dystopian love story which generates an aura of anxiety in a character-driven story. Besides directing, Glodell authored the screenplay and completed his “hat trick” by portraying Woodrow the lead character who along with his best friend Aiden (Tyler Dawson) are dutifully getting ready for the apocalypse as portrayed in George Miller’s Mad Max (1979). Woodrow and Aiden are slackers building flamethrowers and a “bad-ass” tricked out muscle car named Medusa in a Los Angeles neighborhood simply known as “Bellflower”.
At a brew pub contest that is eerily similar to the bug-eating challenges of “Fear Factor,” Woodrow is bested by a spirited blonde named Milly (Jessie Wiseman) and falls hard for her as well. He soon takes her on a road trip to Texas to eat dinner at the scuzziest diner known to civilized man and trades a “beater” auto for a custom motorcycle. Aiden, meanwhile, hooks up with a cute curly haired girl named Courtney (Rebekah Brandes) and all of them party with sex and drugs “like it’s 1999”. Until one day when everything falls apart.
Fractured chronology soon leads us into heartbreak-as-world-ending metaphor and an ugly violent world emerges. With DIY digital manipulations and uniquely designed lenses presenting us with over-saturated color imagery, the psychological Armageddon drags the audience into a shocking quagmire of brutality. There are insights into truth and the human condition within this film that are astounding. This is original storytelling with little budget. The performances are remarkable and the tone is consistent. While the sound is its weakest attribute its good enough to keep us in the game. Released by Oscilloscope Laboratories, “Bellflower” was premiered At Sundance 11 in the Next category to generally positive buzz.
Its existential world is worth the price of admission.