Weirdsville – DVD Review

Weirdsville DVD cover
Available at Amazon.com

As is mentioned quite a few times in the special features, Weirdsville‘s plot is not an easy one to describe. It centers around a couple of junkies named Dexter and Royce and follows them through a night of wacky adventures where they are chased by a group of satanists, hounded by a drug dealer they’ve wronged and general get up to all manner of chicanery.

The movie opens in an unusual way. It’s one of those movies that has a scene at the start and then flashes back to how the characters get to that point. This device, in and of itself, is not unusual (and in fact has been drastically overused in the last few years) but what is unusual is the situation itself. Usually this glimpse of the future style is used to show the characters in some sort of horrific situation or grave danger. In this case, we’ve got Dexter and Royce using a garden gnome to break into a house. Oddly enough, the non-pivotal nature of the scene freshens up a clichéd narrative device.

The characters in Weirdsville are fantastic. The leads, Dexter and Royce, are probably the least colorful of the bunch. They’re still strange but when compared to the zaniness of most of the characters their relatively normality helps underline the colorful nature of the other characters.

Both sets of villains are terrific, however. Drug dealing Omar and his dim-witted goon, Gary, have some hilarious moments. They don’t hold a candle, however, to the Satanists. You could base an entire movie around the lives of Abel, Treena and Seamus.

The visuals and the soundtrack of Weirdsville are well done. There are a few really neat shots and most of the music is top-notch. The music really helps to enhance the movie.

The one aspect of the feature that doesn’t quite work is the ending. Weirdsville is one of those movies where a bunch of seemingly unrelated plot threads come together through a random series of events. Sometimes that tying together works really well, other times it just feels forced. With Weirdsville, it was the latter.

In addition to the forced feel of the merging plotlines, the ending runs a little too long. I think the actual final scene ends at exactly the right moment (and the little montage in the credits is great), but the final scene in which the villains appear runs about thirty seconds too long. I don’t want to give away the ending, but I think it would have been better if the bit with the safe was the end of the villains’ arc.

A few weak spots in the ending aside, Weirdsville is a quality film. If you’ve ever wanted to see a movie about a couple of junkies on the run from drug dealers and Satanists, then this is the movie for you.

The movie is presented in 2.35:1 and looks fine. The audio is 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital and it sounds perfectly fine.

Kudos must be given to the film makers’ for the extras. It’s pretty rare to see so many features on a single disc, initial release DVD. And, more refreshingly, the featurettes (while often quite short) are generally amusing and/or informative.

Audio Commentary (with Allan Moyle, Willem Wennekers, and Nicholas Tabarrok) – Your standard audio commentary. There are some nice tidbits of information to be had, but nothing all that memorable.

Knights for Hire – The lead knight from the movie starts his own mercenary-for-hire business. Hilarity, and violence, ensues.

What’s My Name: The Unmaking of a Title – A four part featurette. Worried that they may have to change the title for legal reasons, the crew struggles to come up with a new title for the movie. They bandy about a variety of names, and even do some polls at a local movie theatre. Amusingly enough, for the vast majority of the piece most of the crew seems quite sour on the title, Weirdsville.

Callbacks – Some footage from Greg Byrk and Joe Dinicol’s auditions.

More Joy, Less Speed – Behind the scenes footage of the skating scene, from the shooting to discussion of the CGI to the final result.

Willem Wennekers: Writing Weirdsville – An interview with the screenwriter of Weirdsville.

No Small Parts – Allan Redford, Allan Moyle and Joey Beck talk about doing nude scenes and the risks of getting caught masturbating among other things.

A Brief Tour of Weirdsville – Various cast and crew members talk about different aspects of Weirdsville, with clips from the movie and behind-the-scene footage thrown in.

The Bong Show – Nicholas Tabarrok, Allan Moyle, and Debbie Kwan go shopping for the perfect bong to use in the movie.

Dressed to Kill – Costume Designer Alex Kavanagh and Assistant Costume Designer Stephanie Lees work on the wardrobe for the Satanists.

Allan Moyle: Craft Truck Confucius – Allan Moyle talks about his experience filming movies and his philosophy on life while making use of the Craft Services truck.

Snow Business – Some behind-the-scenes footage of people creating artificial snow. Definitely not the most riveting extra, but at least it is short.

Go with Satan – Greg Bryk talks about the Satanic rituals and peanut butter, among other things. Maggie Castle and Dax Ravina makes brief appearances as well.

Matt Frewer – An interview and some behind-the-scenes footage with Matt Frewer. Apparently they ran out of titles as the last few features don’t have them.

Taryn Manning – An interview with Taryn Manning. Some of this footage is used in A Brief Tour of Weirdsville.

Scott Speedman & Wes Bentley – An interview and a little behind-the-scenes footage with Scott Speedman and Wes Bentley on the last day of filming. Some of this footage was also used in A Brief Tour of Weirdsville.

Trailers – Trailers for Shrooms, Outlaw, The Signal and Redacted.

Weirdsville is a fun, quirky movie. The DVD release is quite well put together as well with tons of special features and little bonuses for fans (like the brief infomercial after the credits). Weirdsville is definitely worth checking out.

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Magnolia Home Entertainment presents Weirdsville. Directed by Allan Moyle. Starring Scott Speedman, Wes Bentley, and Taryn Manning. Written by Willem Wennekers. Running time: 91 minutes. Rated R. Released on DVD: Feb 05, 2008. Available at Amazon.com.

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