Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Corey Taylor and Clown make a film, and it sucks horribly.

Ladies and gents, the first short film from Corey Taylor and Clown (of Slipknot fame)'s new film production company, Living Breathing Films.

So, what's the first thing you noticed about it? Is it that it's completely shit? Because if that's not the first thing you noticed, then there is something wrong with you.

Let me get this clear, I love the intention of their film company; to produce 'psychological' films, and stating if someone hasn't walked out of their film five minutes in, they're not doing their job right. Well, to that end, they succeeded. But whereas they were meaning something affecting people on a deeper level, like The Exorcist, they actually just made stupid, cheap films that no one wants to waste their life with.

Maybe this first film is just a very small stepping stone, and the last moment makes me think it might be intended for nothing more than a little promotional awareness tool, but a 15 minute film is a bit excessive to that end. I only stuck with it because it would be unruly of me to write about it without seeing the whole shebang.

On YouTube, you can already see the Slipknot fanheads attributing a lot of depth where it is not applicable. The film is shallow and barely works on the one level it goes for (though the idea of them shooting themselves is pleasing). What is the plot? Well, Slipknot's two resident cinephiles are taken out of a storage container where we gather they have been taken hostage, forced to put sacks over their heads and then.... they do nothing for ten minutes. Ok, they stand by a few different walls. And they walk. And fall over. This is uncomfortable cinema, but not because it is uncomfortable to see someone being demeaned by struggling to get off the ground. No, it is uncomfortable because it is embarrassing. All I could think was this fucker was supposed to roll over and get up, but can't. They tried to play up the moment, but using a jump cut so he is on his knees is cheating and confirms that, yes, Clown could not get off the ground if his hands were tied.

Production value is nil. I could probably safely say it was shot on a Handycam, with no professional equipment employed. This technique can be done nicely (see Visitor Q), but this ramshackle piece is over-indulgent and lacks any intention of forethought. It means nothing if the camera runs around like a third person spectator if there is no threat. And the 'big shootout' at the end is ridiculous owing to it's lack of motivation and lack of effects. Sorry to spoil it on you (I did put the video at the top of the page, jackass), but they are both shot in the head, but in the style of old Westerns ie. they fall over as if they have been shot, hoping no one will notice the lack of actual bullet to skull contact.

The idea that they have shot themselves gives the film a glimmer of intelligence that was missing for, oh, the entire thing up to that point. But even this is tired and cliché. And the acting.... Or lack of... Sorry Corey, I could see you were trying, but please, you are so talented in other ways. Maybe give the acting a miss. 

Several lazy music loops run throughout the film, possibly trying to cover up the moments when production audio leaks on to the soundtrack, but regardless of it's intent and poorness, it doesn't take away from the film any more, because the film is an inferior product anyway. And the editing... If this was a five minute film, it would still be too long, but using double takes, and switching between colour and black and white is just ridiculous. I do not exaggerate when I say a first year film student would not be let away with this kind of sloppiness.

I can already hear people defending it, saying I don't get it, or understand it's art or intent, but that's the thing; I do. And I am all too aware how it has failed on every level. Just because you are a massive Slipknot fan does not mean you can defend everything to do with them. If they do something crap, you have to call it like you see it. And I know exactly what I saw with this.

This should never have seen the light of day, and the fact it is in any way associated with Sundance is even worse. This is as embarrassing as when an actor tries to be political. A musician trying to be a filmmaker, doing something different but only highlighting they couldn't do it right if they tried. An abuse of station, surely.

But if there is any glimmer of hope in this turd, it is that Corey and Clown DO have good intentions, and the means to give filmmakers who could be as subversive as they are talking about a chance. This is a misstep in every shape and form. Don't defend it, it isn't worth your breath. All you can do is move on from it and make sure the next product of Living Breathing Films actually has a point or reason to exist.

That is all.