“Soderbergh of the Sticks,” TIFF Midnight Madness programmer Peter Kuplowsky once described the films of indie workhorse Mickey Reece. The sheer output of the Oklahoma native is daunting, astonishing even: 29 features in fifteen years. And while Reece has yet to break out into mainstream circles, viewers who’ve discovered his unmistakable brand of DIY cinema in the more outré corners of festival programming have delighted in his restless low-budget inventiveness; his knack for bending, and mutating, genre tropes into unrecognizable, tonally fluid shapes.
A survey of Letterboxd reviews of his films not only highlights how “surreal” most of them are, but also how tricky they are to pin down. From the downright subversive horror Agnes—of which Lucinda says, “breaks sharply from nunsploitation hysteria to become a devastating portrait of a young woman grappling with her faith” —⁠to the way Climate of the Hunter is “equal parts Ingmar Bergman and Andy Milligan, yet somehow feels totally freed from influence”, Reece’s films “look and move to their own timezone.”