- RELEASE DATE: Now Available on DVD (Click Here to Purchase a Copy)
- WRITTEN BY: Erica Benedikty
- DIRECTED BY: Erica Benedikty
- STARRING: John Rubick, Tina Dumoulin, Lyon Tenbroeck
-Reviewed by Daniel XIII
What does two hundred and fifty dollars get you I ask? A very nice dinner in a swanky restaurant, some top flight concert tickets, or, if your name is Erica Benedikty, it gets you an entire mother fuckin’ feature film! That’s right, the subject of this revoltin’ review, PHOBE, cost under three hundred dollars…let’s see if it was money well spent.
The story of PHOBE goes a lil’ something like this; Dapp, possessor of a spiky toped mullet, a pair of those flimsy shades you get after the optometrist dilates your pupils, and heavy ordnance, is a cosmic lawman that heads to our world from Mondora to track a hideous alien creature that has managed to perpetrate a jailbreak. Add to the mix an easily chilled high school cheerleader (seriously, she stops the film dead in its tracks just to put on a sweatshirt) who crosses paths with our bad ass space hero and joins him on his quest to defeat the eponymous creature, and a ticking clock scenario to destroy the Phobe’s egg. What follows is a whirlwind of mullets, pew-pew lazers™, dodgy alien masks, dodgier CG (which was added later…more on that below), uproarious miniatures, Coors sweatshirts (and a truckload of mid-90’s fashions and haircuts), the best Chroma key no money can buy, and a whole boatload of flat-out, rad ass awesomeness! Special mention must be made of the rockin’ tunes of Mobilyzer, the wig on the bar band’s bass player, the Lazer Tag set repurposed as props…fried gold my fiends, fried gold!
Now, as you can guess, PHOBE is by nature completely amateur; everything from the acting, to the effects, to the story are impossibly, delightfully, full-on inept; but god damn does this movie ever have a massive amount of heart…and for me that is the most important ingredient to a successful film. Additionally, it’s the type of flick that when you park your ass in front of it you just know that everyone involved with the production had the time of their lives bringing it to fruition, I mean how could they not? They were running all over the Canadian landscape, mullets flowing in the Autumnal breezes, setting off explosions and fighting alien menaces, as one does!
So that’s PHOBE the film; but believe me, the fun contained on this release doesn’t end there as there are a galaxy (yeah baby!) of bonus features on this DVD! First up you get an ultra-informative and lively commentary track featuring writer/director Benedikty, moving on we are also presented with Benedikty’s first feature, an hour long picture called BACK IN BLACK that involves comic books, (not quite) AC/DC music (and a dude that looks suspiciously like Brian Johnson), and interdimensional travel…yeah; it’s pretty damn awesome in its own right (minus some bad audio here and there)!! Also featured are a great twenty-two minute documentary about the making of PHOBE, a Q&A with cast and crew after a theatrical screening of the film, outtakes, and a music video.
There is also one additional special feature that illustrates my only complaint with this entire release, a showcase for some of the special effects changed since the film debuted. For some reason Benedikty revisited her film and spruced up some of the wonderfully charming low-tech effects with substandard CG work. Now; it honestly doesn’t detract from the over-all aesthetic of the piece, but man; those original effects were just so cool to see I wanted them back where they belong…but at least they are included here.
PHOBE is a straight up, cam-corded, de-fuckin’-light; it’s the type of flick that demands you down a six pack during the run time and have an absolute blast. Highest possible recommendation!