These are films reviewed on the cult movie podcast Junk Food Dinner ( www.junkfooddinner.com/ ).
A love story with apocalyptic stakes.
Two friends spend all their free time building flame-throwers and weapons of mass destruction in hopes that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang "Mother Medusa".
Made on a shoestring budget, with handmade cameras and fully functioning apocalyptic props, Bellflower is the type of film where much of the discussion seems to be about its production rather than the film itself. Personally I don’t care if it was made for just $17,000 or was filmed with one-of-a-kind equipment, when the end results are this mind numbingly bad all the quirky production stories count for nought.
Bellflower is essentially a mumblecore romance with a revenge fantasy twist. Woodrow and Aiden are two best friends suffering from arrested development. They spend their days building flame throwers and preparing for a Mad Max post-apocalyptic future. Then Woodrow meets a girl, she cheats on him and then he becomes a…
It always breaks my heart when I see a concept so interesting to me slowly start to raise the gun to its own head and slowly start to pull the trigger.
WHY, BELLFLOWER! WHY! YOU WERE SO GOOD. YOU HAD SO MUCH TO LIVE FOR. WE COULD'VE SAVED YOU.
After a clunky start, Bellflower hits a unique groove that starts to resemble a real indie film; the one you expected from reading the synopses and looking at the visually striking poster. It really is a new age love story told through a vintage, burnt lens that makes it look like grainy, bottled wildfire. Its an intense and visually arresting look that is a little odd at first but you learn…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Bellflower has a very distinctive look, think Instagram retro vibe, thanks to a unique camera set-up. This does not necessarily detract from the rest of the film but does highlight where else things are going awry on screen. Shot on a very low budget, you can tell where the money went and where it did not. The acting is pretty wooden throughout, characters lacking emotion or connection with each other, add to this some underwritten, unappealing, vacuous personality on display and you have nothing to really invest in.
On paper the plot seems intriguing (Mad Max obsessed friends are challenged by the intervention of one getting a girlfriend) and when I first caught a glimpse of the trailer I was…
Ugh. That is the general feeling I had after watching Bellflower.
There are a few very brief glimpses of concepts and shots that could have been used to put together a compelling story, mostly involving some admittedly impressive pyrotechnics and shots of the Medusa car.
Those things don't matter though as everything is an unorganized mess. There are "chapters" so as to pretend like there is some sort of narrative in place, but really all Bellflower is about is despicable people doing terrible things to each other.
Bellflower is a film that I find extremely difficult to rate because, while watching it, I went from loving it to hating it and then back to loving it and so forth. I waited a few hours before writing this review so that I could reflect a little bit on what I had seen and try and come up with a satisfactory review. Bellflower is, to put it simply, the most hipster movie I have ever seen. It is incredibly pretentious at times, many of the scenes are filmed with a dirty lens, the entire movie looks slightly yellow, like you're looking through cheap, yellow sunglasses and the music is all done by bands that you've probably never heard of.…
The combination of laconic conversational etiquette - the introverted, eager to please exterior - and a testosterone undercurrent of rage is spot on. Men like this are clearly a bad example, filled with aspirations to be Lord Humongous - he dominates his women, and they love him for it - and then losing that inkling at the first sign of honeymoon romance, then backtracking double time onto the former: the anger becomes so overbearing that it consumes the actual narrative, the vision of pain coming from a horror movie, a revenge saga from the 70's, totally unrealistic and, yet, so seething with raw hurt that it's almost plausible. Too much ingenuity to write off, from the combination of genres - teddy bear love story and misogynistic gratification pulp - to the dialogue of Glodell's crew - a culture of yeahs, stutters, bro's, screeching rock music; the inside nomenclature and the drinking fanaticism exaggerated, but not by much.
What is this film trying to portray? It seems to want to comment on the destructive nature of breakups, with a focus on bruised machismo, but then equivocates at the end with an absurd cop-out. Not that the possible ending before the twist was that mcuh better, with it's absurd, borderline disgusting final bloodbath, but at least that had the potential to comment on the emotionally violent, sometimes warlike nature of breakups. But they threw it all away for a hackneyed scene with some really terrible line readings and no real thematic throughline. Why allow your central character to indulge his childish emotions if you're just going to blamelessly walk it back? Why shift the focus from a romantic couple to a pair of friends if the friend is never going to get any sort of real personality besides "party boy?"
There was a really good movie here. But then something happened and messed it all up.
Trying not to highlight recent films but came across this and saw so many negative reviews. Come on, folks. If you haven't seen this yet, give it a chance. I was fortunate enough to see a double feature of Bellflower and Mad Max back in 2011.
It just flows with the energy that the filmmakers have put in. for me, that, and also the parallels of the makers and their characters, was actually what made the film good. it was quite obvious that the story gave way to the visuals and the atmosphere and chance for them to tinker with all the props which were an actual working machines and flamethrowers etc.
well, the ending was quite awful and over-the-top-in-a-bad-way, until the Keevil's pitiful song came on to put everything back.
or I could just just say it was a cool and cool-looking indie flick. but I'm pretty sure I won't forget it that easily in the future and will want to see it again. until that their Coatwolf group has recently secured crowdfunding for the next feature.
Dos amics obsessionats en l'apocalipsis made in Mad Max es trobaran inmersos en una versió apocaliptica i destructiva de 500 dias juntos. Destaca la cuidada, atractiva i curiosa estètica de la pel.licula, rodada amb només 17.000 dòlars.
Not sure if I missed something with this one...it gets a 72 metascore and 74% rotten onions score. Plays like a jazzed up student film shot through Instagram.
Woodrow (Evan Glodell) and Aiden (Tyler Dawson) are Mad Max obsessives, determined to build their own flame-thrower and customise a muscle-car (Medusa) ready for the apocalypse. Woodrow falls in love with Milly (Jessie Wiseman), but when their relationship sours, violence and tragedy follows. A micro-budgeted feature from writer/director Glodell, Bellflower is both naive and ambitious, yet never less than interesting despite some of its narrative flaws. There's a raw, dirty aesthetic about the film which impresses, and the Medusa itself is a thing of beauty.
Personally, I take Bellflower's message as this: Inner turmoils can be more devastating than any delusional apocalyptic catastrophes.
The unexpectedly powerful two last chapters of this extremely original take about two friends that never face their upcoming adulthood phase through the construction of flamethrowers, mass destruction weapons and an apocalyptic flame-throwing Mad-Max-inspired black car, awaiting for the end of the world to come soon while making an aggressive statement to anybody that may stumble upon them, have been slowly growing on me. It is the last two chapters that kept pushing the rating up with their 20-minute length. They clarify the existentialist statements of the whole film, and I find them deep just as I find them disturbing.
A Review Haiku
Broken hearts and cars.
Every great romance should hurt,
Burn. Watch it all burn.
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
- Invisible: The Chronicles of Benjamin Knight
- Dr. Orloff's Invisible Monster
- RoboCop 3
- American Reunion
- Searching for Sugar Man
- The Imposter
- Too Big to Fail
- The Girl
All re-watches are excluded.
- This Must Be the Place
- Black Swan
- District 9
- The Wrestler