When summer movie going becomes so over-saturated that it feels like a new superhero flick, remake, or effects laden blockbuster is being released every single weekend, it forces film fans to put forth the effort to seek out creative filmmaking. While it may be a bit of a struggle to find these films, they do exist and Bellflower the perfect satisfying example of low budget, inventive baddassery.
Longtime best friends Woodrow (Evan Glodell) and Aiden (Tyler Dawson) grew up watching films like Mad Max and therefore spend most of their time building flamethrowers and rigging muscle cars to dispense alcohol and to spit fire. Their logic is that when the impending apocalypse happens, they will be ready and waiting to rule the land with their Road Warrior gang.
One night while the two are at a bar, Woodrow meets a spontaneous and exciting girl named Milly who challenges him to a cricket eating contest – and she wins. They immediately have a sweet, first crush-type chemistry, and Woodrow asks her out on a date the following evening. Only instead of a typical first date, they embark on a road trip halfway across the country to find the nastiest restaurant that Woodrow could think of. Milly inspires Woodrow’s already raging sense of adventure, and they quickly become a couple.
What Woodrow will find out though is that when things start to go south with Milly, she becomes his own personal atom bomb; their break-up his own personal apocalypse. It’s here that Bellflower turns on its axel, in the vein of Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild, and transforms from quirky romance to sinister and destructive. Like one of the many titles that flash across the screen, “nobody makes it out alive”.
Star Evan Glodell is also the film’s director, writer, co-editor, and he also built the flamethrower and working fire-spitting car named Medusa, and even built his own camera with custom lenses. The film is a passion project in the purest sense of the term, and that passion shines through onscreen. Made on a shoestring budget, self-funded, with excellent acting, this is precisely the type of movie that film enthusiasts should seek out and support.
Glodell makes good use of camera effects, almost every single scene is either ultra-saturated in color, scratched, shaky, or a combination of these. It gives the film a raw, grindhouse feel that adds to the unnerving sensation that something is about to go terribly wrong. All of the actors are relative unknowns, but its Glodell’s manic turn as Woodrow and Jessie Weisman’s performance as Milly that will stand out.
When a movie begins with a few seconds of grainy, shaky footage of violence played in reverse, it’s enough to set the tone of a film as gleefully destructive as Bellflower. Evan Glodell embodies everything exciting about American cinema today and will hopefully inspire other filmmakers to think outside the multiplex.
Jenny is proud to be the First Lady of Inside Pulse Movies. She gives female and mommy perspective, and has two kids who help with rating family movies. (If they don't like 'em, what's the point?) She prefers horror movies to chick flicks, and she can easily hang with the guys as long as there are several frou-frou girlie drinks to be had.