Pathfinder Entertainment
MSRP: $19.98
RATED: Unrated
RUNNING TIME: 82 Minutes

The Pitch

Honestly – I don’t get this movie 100%, so I can’t imagine what the pitch for it would have been. But I’m sure it involved a water bong at some point.

All those years of being called "Icebox" took a major toll on little Becky O’Shea

The Humans

Samara Golden. Yup…90 minutes of one person. Oh, and the director’s name was Reynold Reynolds. He’s in the movie for like 15 seconds, but his name was too cool to leave off the list.

The Nutshell

You have this woman who lives in this room that was apparently inhabited by someone named Anthony (judging from the mail and messages on the machine), there’s a body in the crawlspace, and she tends to it periodically. And Anthony really doesn’t come into play at all in the story. How’s that for your nutshell?

The Package

The artwork is very nicely done – gritty and grimy and a little off center, which sets the tone for this film perfectly. The transfer is horrible, but that’s totally excusable given that they shot this on 8mm. Sonically, it’s nice but nothing fancy. No spatial effects, but it doesn’t seem too crowded in the center channel. Although, seeing as there’s maybe 15 words of dialogue spoken in the entire film (and they all come from an answering machine) it would have been hard to screw up the sound design.

Surprisingly, this is what Martha Stewart’s kitchen at home actually looks like.

Features? A still gallery. The only thing special about it is that all of the snaps are in color and since 90% of the movie is in black & white it gives a nice little contrast.

The Lowdown

What the hell, man? This is probably the weirdest, most non-coherent movie I’ve ever seen. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing in general, but it is in this case. I don’t want to use the dreaded "P-Word," but I don’t think it would be too out of place here. I don’t see it as weird with a purpose. I see it as weird for the sake of being weird.

We’ll start with the story here. The nutshell I laid out pretty much sums it up…well…in a nutshell (zing!), but it gets so much more complex than that. It’s established fairly early that this woman (she’s nameless) knows about the body in the crawlspace as she’s seen pulling it out and caressing it. It’s then established that it’s her body. After the title sequence (ugh) the whole "Anthony" angle is set up. And then for the next…oh…say 30 minutes, all she does is clean this apartment. There are shots of her sitting down, looking forlorn, a pan across a damn dirty toothbrush for no apparent reason and then she takes a bath. Yeah, there’s nudity, but it’s not sexy (or anything else for that matter – it’s just naked for the sake of naked). After she takes the bath it spirals from absolute boredom to complete and total nonsense.

Silly girl, not just any ole’ thing will give you sight beyond sight!

It’s in the bath sequence that we get introduced to the first change from black & white to color. The scene is totally out of place, but it cuts back to her asleep in the bath (in b&w). So naturally you think the color sequences are going to be dream sequences…until the color changes in a linear sequence. Then you’re all fucked up. There’s no apparent reason to switch between the two other than "Ohhh…look…mysterious!" and after the bath they do it constantly. It becomes extremely annoying.

To add to my list of "Pretentious Factors," there isn’t a single spoken word of dialogue in the entire film. Now, why is that pretentious Jeremy? She lives by herself, she’s isolated – who’s she gonna talk to? Well, someone does knock on her door, but it’s never explained why. And when she answers the door she has a conversation with the gentleman – but there’s no audio. There’s environmental sounds, city noises, you can see their mouths moving, but there’s not a single word passed through my speakers. Which makes absolutely no sense considering they make a point to let us hear the answering machine. Which was Anthony’s. Remember Anthony? For some reason he is never mentioned again in the entire movie.

She waited 25 years for him to call. She still waits. And she’ll continue to wait until she realizes the damn thing’s off the hook.

And of course that’s not to mention that one scene involving a MAJOR plot point (major enough to be the inspiration for the title of the film) holds no place at all in any point in this movie. And actually serves to totally demolish any semblance of plot this movie had. You think you have it figured out, and then that scene pops up and you’re left thinking "What in the hell was THAT!?" And there’s several other scenes that do the exact same thing. Every time you watch events unfold that reinforce what little solidarity this story has, another scene comes along right after it that completely shakes apart any framewark you may have structured with this plot. The problem is that it’s hard to dismiss these scenes as they’re presented in such a grand fashion that you can’t help but try to accept them into whatever reasoning you’ve established as you go along – and they just don’t fit. There’s a joke in Bill Cosby’s Himself, in which he demonstrates the face fathers make the majority of the time. That’s the face I made through all 82 minutes of this experiment in ostentation.

In the end this is a movie that tries too hard to do so many things and doesn’t really accomplish any of them. The basic concept (if I understand it correctly – and hey I may not have) would have made an interesting short film, but this movie is an exercise in frustration. I’m all for giving the viewer credit and I’m all for ambiguity and room for personal interpretation, but dammit man, give me something to work with.

3.0 out of 10