Anarchy meets angst in indie film Bellflower

Mouse Guard - Available Now @ DriveThruComics.com

In the new indie film Bellflower, friends Woodrow (played by writer and director Evan Glodell) and Aiden (Tyler Dawson) have an unusual hobby. After growing up obsessing over movies like Mad Max, they decide to build their own flamethrower and a fire-spurting muscle car with a fantasy to rule a post-apocalyptic world as the gang “Mother Medusa.”

When Woodrow meets the beautiful, impulsive Milly (Jessie Wiseman) during a cricket-eating contest at a bar, he falls fast and hard for her. The film starts out quirky, artistic and even downright charming. Woodrow takes Milly on a road trip to a seedy restaurant in Texas for their first date. They live in L.A., mind you. Aiden gives Milly’s friend a fruitcake for her birthday, stating that by the time Christmas comes he’ll know her well enough to get her something she’ll actually like. But it quickly devolves into an anarchy of emotions, unraveling chaos of betrayal and violence as Woodrow’s world, as he knows it, ends.

Three things we liked about the movie:

1. In a summer of shallow spectacle, it’s a pleasure to see a movie that has something actually going on behind the scenes. Every frame drips with creeping dread, exploding into the apocalyptic emotional horror of betrayal and loss. Like Fight Club, Bellflower becomes an angry allegory on the confusion and angst of modern masculinity. While most movies are forgotten by the time you reach your car, Bellflower will linger.

2. Writer/director/producer/editor/star Evan Glodell is destined to be an indie powerhouse in years to come. He stretches the shoestring budget to the breaking point, carrying the film on his shoulders with clarity and staggering audacity. His direction is fearless.

3. Bellflower sports an extremely stylized look, created through refreshingly analog means. Glodell built the film’s camera from scratch, and cinematographer Joel Hodge puts it to the test, using every selective focus trick up his sleeve to create a truly unique vision. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the pure awesomeness of Medusa, the smoke-breathing, fire-spewing muscle car monster that provides the film’s most memorable imagery.

The thing we disliked about the movie:

1.  When so many movies nowadays suffer from being focus-grouped to death, it’s almost refreshing to see a movie that doesn’t try to appeal to the widest audience possible. That being said, many people will not find the second half of this movie enjoyable. The characters, although they seem to be interesting at first, turn out to be nothing but booze-soaked, chain smoking losers who look like they just reek of body odor. They’re horrible people who sit around being miserable for a very long-seeming 106 minutes, learn nothing and change very little. So if that’s not your idea of a good time at the movies, this one might not be for you.

All in all, there’s more to Bellflower than meets the eye. On the surface, it’s an unpleasant break-up film about characters who seemingly contribute nothing to society. But if you look at it from the perspective of the characters, particularly the ones with delusions of apocalyptic grandeur, there’s nothing left of society in which to contribute. So that makes sense. If you think about it, the tone and structure mirror the Mad Max films. We get that. The low-budget technical achievements are masterfully handled. We appreciate that.

We’d just rather appreciate it over there, far away from us.

Nerdvana writer Pax Whitmore contributed to this review.

 

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Subscribe for free updates!

Newsletters

View previous campaigns.

Powered by MailChimp

Nerdvana Media will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at news@nerdvanamedia.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

About the author

Emily Whitmore

Emily Whitmore

Designer and editor who studied journalism at Arizona State University.

Add Comment

Post a comment...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Samurai Comics