directed by Joshua von Brown
starring Daniel Louis Rivas, Ralph Nash Thompson, Frankie Shaw
“I’m so ripe for crossover… ” Thus spoke Richard Havoc (Rivas) when approached by dorky filmmaker Mark Clark (Thompson) in his remote high desert bunker. Havoc is a sort of modern day Charlie Manson, except that his cult seems to only consist of bitchy girlfriend Karen (Shaw), one-handed geeky IT manager Travis (Teddy Eck) and psycho monologist Alex (Matthew Humphries). They’ve moved into an abandoned missile silo and plan to take over the world with Punk Rock, although they seem less organized than John Waters’ guerrilla filmmakers in Cecil B Demented. Everyone is good at posing and shooting holes in candy bar machines, but when they make “The Call” to the disaffected youth of America the response is underwhelming. It takes more than a psychotic haircut and an E chord to take over the world these days.
Shot on a low budget in downtown Yuma, Arizona and an abandoned missile silo in upstate New York, this film is wildly clever and packed full of sizzling one liners. You’ll shoot milk out your nose over lines like “We can’t start a revolution without snacks” and “Lights, camera, asshole” but there’s stuff you’ll need a second pass to catch in this gripping absurdist film. All the actors are superb: beside Karen’s bitch-o-rama and Havoc’s perma-anger, pseudo filmmaker Mark is so deadly serious you want to pistol whip him yourself. Musically, Havoc sounds like a dozen bands from The Germs to Social Distortion. His synthesis of forms is solid but not as essential to the story as his Mick Jagger sexuality and David Johanssen sneer. He sets his sights high and when he falls it’s hubris as good as any the Greeks produced. Low budget films can vary from the painful to the sublime, and this is the sort of movie that keeps your faith alive in the low budget film festival.