REVIEW: Bellflower

"Powerful for a first time run at filmmaking."

Two best friends dream of conquest in the event the world goes post apocalyptic.  To prepare for this future they decide to build an insane muscle car and flame throwers  worthy of their gang, Mother Medusa.  Sadly, a chance meeting with the wrong women threatens to change everything. 

I like a good Sundance flick from time to time to balance out the equilibrium of all this modern age Hollywood fluff.  That said, these babies aren't all gold, far from it, yet most times there's at least a spark of interest buried in there somewhere.  BELLFLOWER has enough sparks to kindle a flame but it's by no means perfect.  Perfection however can be overrated and the good here certainly outweigh the bad making for an interesting story.  The film opens with a quote from Lord Humongous, the main baddy from MAD MAX 2, which in and about itself made me smile.  I loved the concept of supposed "real dudes" being so obsessed with fictional characters whom they could ascend to if indeed the world went off the deep end.  I'm not saying it's a sane lifestyle to live or that maybe all this energy and ambition couldn't be spent in a more rewarding fashion, but hey, it's still pretty damn cool.

Speaking of cool, the fact that these guys not only obsess about a post-apocalyptic future, but have decided to prepare for it hardcore is awesome on paper, but the thought of these two turning into Columbine type crazies did cross my mind more than a couple times.  I loved the fact that they're building a flamethrower, I loved the fact that Woodrow's car had a booze dispenser on the dash of the passenger side (think an espresso machine that pumps out Jack Daniels instead).  I'm not saying I embrace the message it portrays, but it was a pretty off the wall gadget and I'd absolutely LOVE to see how they explained that one to the cops.  The only sad part is that he trades it in for a shitty looking bike to impress a chick.  I'm not certain, but I think that's a violation of the man code.

The crazy storyline is backed up in spades by our crazy two best friends, Woodrow and Aiden, whose loyalty to one another (and spot on chemistry) is the heart and soul of the movie.  I'm not saying they don't have a few ups and downs, but these guys are tight and that helps pull everything together.  Now, a couple things I didn't get was how these two afford all their gear.  Aiden's the mechanic and you see him shopping for parts, building the flamethrower and he even builds a car which he out and out gives to Woodrow.  Now add to that, these guys are boozing every night (and day oftentimes), can afford to just pick up and drive out to Texas with a chick on a whim and pretty much party their lives away, yet you never see or hear tell of them working or get an inkling of how they earn all this cash.  Rent, booze, flamethrowers, cars, women, none of these things come cheap.  Maybe Aiden built a money tree too, who knows, but it's a mystery that sticks out like a sore thumb.

BELLFLOWER is a film that immediately pumps adrenaline into your bloodstream and straight to your heart, especially if you're a guy whose fantasised about mass destruction, mayhem, fire and big explosions (I have no doubt Michael Bay owns this Blu-Ray).  There are very real emotions portrayed along the way when it comes to women and how they can come between even the best of friends if you let them, and as a guy whose seen it happen, I felt it was handled very accurately.  Evan Glodell (Woodrow) did an outstanding job considering he's the writer, director and one of the main leads.  Like I said, the film's not perfect, but the dude's got talent and I'll be keeping an eye out for his next endeavour.

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