Open Doom Crescendo

Open Doom Crescendo ★★★★½

In the destroyed present, the aggressively badass Keikei (Xinkun Dai) and her lackadaisical white-shirted pal Rev (Ging Yu Kei) wander the wasteland looking for their friend Spike (Matias Rittatore), in between running into the confrontational Lady Moondrift (Pei Yao Xu) and her Candy Ass Kickers (They kick candy ass!!!), or the deadly Psycho on The Radio - whose kill count is like into the 900s - with the promise that one day, they'll get all the answers to their problems from the Embodiment of Angst.

Writer/Director Terry Chiu's an open book. His fears, anxiety, humour and personality are splattered all over the epic 3-hour running time of OPEN DOOM CRESCENDO, but the greatest trick he pulls is balancing it all like a circus acrobat juggling ten chainsaws dipped in battery acid.

This isn't merely stream-of-consciousness madness, or wackiness for the sake of it, but a well-thought-out (Every line is carefully scripted) piece that is also hilariously funny. Terry's base style is ADULT SWIM meets SHINYA TSUKAMOTO, but he knows when to slow things down, to engross the viewer in his characters' twisty philosophical musings, brilliantly clarified by Burnt-In Chinese/English subtitles, and a narrative gambit straight out of END OF EVANGELION, that puts the endeavour in a different emotional context, before the audience is bodyslammed with a climax worthy of a quadrillion dollar blockbuster (but with more cardboard). You may not get all the answers on the first viewing, but that's part of the design.

No one is making films like Terry Chiu, and his work deserves to be consumed by the world's eyes, ears, and brain mush. It is criminal that his work has barely played anywhere. Where the hell is The Locarno Film Festival when you need them?

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