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View Full Version : McChrist reviews REFLECTIONS OF EVIL (2002)


mcchrist
03-13-2003, 11:29 PM
This is truly one of those unexpected gems that comes along your way and changes your life for better or worse. For a few months, sitting on the DVD shelf at the local used book store was a title that I never heard of before. REFLECTIONS OF EVIL, and for a while I never even picked up the damn thing, I just let it sit there collecting dust.

Another month rolls by and I pick it up and look at the box. Not much there really, the cover was made out to look like a movie section from an old newspaper. What peaked my interest, however, was that the "ad" said Playing in SUPERBIT. That was it, so subtle is the humor in that I had to pick it up sight unseen.

That night after a few beers, I fired up some wings and popped the DVD in. I immediately clicked on the trailer and was immediately floored! What we have here is two minutes of an incredible obese man suspiciously eating a strawberry shortcake, constantly looking over his shoulder the whole time. The music in the background was ripped right out of Clockwork Orange, and images of a ghostly female interspliced throughout.

You don't see a trailer like that every day, browraising to say the least. To be honest, I was now excited as hell!

So I started the main feature after a smoke, and we are greeted by a badly dubbed Tony Curtis who introduces the film. The film immediatly shifts into an old mattress commercial.

We are introduced to Bob, the rotund main character of the film, and within the first minute of the film proceeds to get shit-faced on an entire box of liquor candies and then sprays the sidewalk with a massive (!!!) quantity of puke.

What we find out about Bob is that he's just a dumbass that tries to make a living (unsuccessfully I might add) selling cheap watches on the street. Another thing we find out soon enough is that people don't like him and are constantly giving him a hard time, which he usually returns with spit-flying, a barrage of "Fuck you"s and "I'll fucking kill you" and "Goddammit! Dammit! Dammit!". After some heavy ranting in front of a Miss Congeniality poster, Bob receives some severe head trauma after busting his head on the sidewalk giving us a very large quantity of blood and brain matter (this isn't the only time this happens to Bob).

I'm asking myself, exactly how do I review a movie like this? I mean, Jesus it goes absolutely nowhere and yet at the same time is one of the most hilarious and brilliant films I've ever seen. Let's see what I can do here.

Highlights; Bob's mom making fun of him because he's fat. Bob has a food problem, we find this very early on, and after a few minutes of poking around the nasty molding remains of leftovers in the fridge, Bob manages to find his Mom's stash of junk food she has hidden in the house, Bob enthrones himself among hundreds of video tapes and watches a grainy copy of Poltergeist. Bob's mom gets furious at him and a screaming match ensues.

Highlights; Bob and mom at a diner. Bob is constantly trying to distract his mom so he can sneak bites of a sandwich, much to his mom's fury.

Highlights; Flashback to 1960's with psychedelic scenes of young hippies doing drugs and dancing, etc. Lot's of pills. Somehow this scene manages to find itself at Universal Studios, where a young Stephen Speilberg (!!!) manages to kill his cast and crew while shooting a movie entitled Something Evil

Highlights; Strange happenings during Episode II and Fellowship of the Ring trailers.

Highlights; Bob being harrassed by more people carrying various weapons, Bob also being harrassed by dogs, Bob being gunned down by an ex-marine with machine gun. And then Bob get's harrassed by cops. Scenes of people vomiting blood throughout.

Highlights; Bob wandering around Universal Studios, with nightmarish sequences in the E.T. ride.

Highlights; Schindler's List: The Ride (!!!)

Highlights; Hundred's of people meeting their death after being hurtled from rollercoasters.

This is one of those films like Eraserhead or Begotten where the experienece will be different for each individual viewer. What I can say about my experience with this film is that the director, Damon Packard, has created the only film IMO that is truly dream-like. I had watched this for the first time late at night around 3:00am and after it was all said and done with, I thought I had somehow managed to doze off and dreamt the whole thing. It is so unique in all of its facets, the only reason why a film like this has never been made before is because Mr. Packard had thrown copyright caution to the wind. So much so, that if you were to make a drinking game based off of copyright violations in this movie you would need to be rushed to the hospital for alcohol poisoning after the first 5 minutes. This man uses video clips the same way a hip-hop artist would sample. It all runs so seemlessly, its almost a shame this film could never get a legit release.

Afterwards I did some checking up about this film. On the back of the box it has a website, www.reflectionsofevil.com and what I found there was a bit of a shock, to say the least. Packard had been hand-pressing these DVD's on his own and leaving them sit at ATM's or bathrooms, or with street vendors and the like (apparently, if you're in downtown LA you can find copies of these floating around). He didn't stop there, however. Just look at all the celebrity responses he's had, that's because the fucker keeps mailing copies to them. He did get some positive feedback from Henry Rollins, but some potentially violent responses from Sylvester Stallone and Belushi's lawyer had a thing or two to say.

All things considered, none of that suprises me. Packard's view on Hollywood is nothing short of venomous, Reflections should be enough to clue you in on that. And Packard's love/hate relationship towards Stephen Speilberg seems a bit unhealthy to me. However the sequence with young Speilberg is nothing short of genius IMO, and the guy he cast for the part is a dead ringer, scary as hell!

OK, now about the disc.

Video Quality: Well, the movie was shot in 16mm, 8mm, and video so the quality varies quite a bit, but overall the picture is about as crisp and clean as you can get.

Audio Quality: I've been dreading this because I don't know what to say. Packard had done all the dubbing himself and has created a sound mix that is just as strange as the video around it. It was all deliberate, so I can only say that the quality is great, but you guys with high-end sterios are going to be in for some shocks! Seriously, the audio on this is weird!

Special Features: There's a trailer and some short films by Packard. To be honest I haven't watched the short films, so I really can't comment.

OVERALL

Movie: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: 1/2 out of 5.

Disc: :banana: :banana: :banana: (all things considered)

Now I do see copies of this floating on ebay for about $10, I say its definitly worth every penny.

Suicide
03-14-2003, 01:49 AM
Good review, I hope you do some more.:D I actually just won a copy of this from the fine folks at Exploitika.com, it should be here sometime next week, I'm very anxious to see it. I'm actually happy to see another review of it, I've only seen like 3 online so far. Also good to see he pissed Belushi off, I hate that fuckin' guy.

DefJeff
03-14-2003, 04:44 AM
Great review! Sounds like an awesome movie that I wouldn't pick up on my own, but now I really wanna see it.

I love the hightlights thing, thats a really good idea.

mcchrist
03-14-2003, 05:18 AM
i love the hightlights thing, thats a really good idea.

Thanks Jeff! :banana: Well, I had a dilemma when writing this thing because there's really no way to write a plot synopsis and it still being a film that anyone would want to see, I mean this movie really rambles along, so I figured I'd highlight some interesting moments from the film without outright spoiling anything. I'll tell you what though, reviewing this film felt like walking over hot coals. Just figuring out where to begin was bad enough. I'm glad you like it though, looks like the whole "highlights" could be my thing.

Eddie Quist
03-14-2003, 07:50 AM
Yeah, awesome review McChrist!! Keep 'em coming... :banana:

Hellbilly
03-14-2003, 04:27 PM
Sounds like my kinda movie :D Thanks for the cool review mc.

mcchrist
05-07-2003, 05:22 AM
I got an email from Damon Packard!

Tuscon AZ eh? wow, thats the interesting thing about spreading thousands
of DVD's around, you never where they will end up, in who's hands. And
I've sent these things all over the world to just about every country.
Though again--your 'type' of response is so rare (the delightfully
surprised serendepity) I used to leave huge stacks of these DVD's for
people to pick up all over the place on a daily weekly basis, never
heard anything back from any of those. I know there are intelligent open
minded people like yourself out there but your one in a billion, which
is certainly not unusual or surprising. After all how many people are
aware of whats 'really' going on in the world, or even care to know for
that matter.

Btw, I've got a lot more material on the Star wars mock, if you'd like a
copy when it's finished leave me an address

thanks , keep an eye out for UFO's in AZ
D.

www.Reflectionsofevil.com

:banana:

Hellbilly
05-07-2003, 08:09 AM
Cool! :banana:

mcchrist
03-25-2004, 07:20 AM
New trailer is online:

http://www.shemco.com/joe_blog/video/reflections.html

He has just got a few DVD's in. They're $12.

www.reflectionsofevil.com

marioscido
03-25-2004, 04:46 PM
Great film! I saw it last year at our Fantasia Fest and was really floored by it. Packard has been dumping thousands of copies of his film all over Hollywood. That's one way to get an indie film seen. I love it!

Mok
03-26-2004, 09:26 PM
Sounds pretty cool - nice review.

Livingdead102
03-27-2004, 08:59 AM
I ordered this dvd based off mcchrist's original review, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I admit I originally watched it in three installments--a chunk here, a chunk there, as my busy schedule at the time permitted--and this is certainly not the best way to see a movie the first time. And after finishing watching, I thought it was interesting, amusing st timed, but nothing close to the revolutionary film described above. A lot of the criticism you might have heard (too long, not really efficiently edited, lacking focus sometimes) may be warranted. Still, it's one of those films that stays with me long after it's over; I remember more scenes and images from this film than I do from a handful of other films I have seen in the interim. I've put off watching it again simply because I tend to buy more than I watch and my stack of dvds to go through is a lot larger than my free time permits, but I get the very distinct feeling this is one of those films I really should watch again. Hopefully I'll find some time between jobs to do so before too long (and now that this thread has got me thinking about it again, I just might do so tonight).

I strongly suggest people order a copy of this dvd. First, to support an indie filmmaker who could definitely use it. Second, to throw some money at a guy who was nothing but cool, helpful, and efficient in my dealings with him. And third, to check something out that is truly unique, at the very least. Worst case scenario, I'd be pretty surprised if this were the worst blind buy most of you ever came across.

gorelover
03-27-2004, 09:03 AM
Gotta order a copy ASAP... :evil:

-gl

mcchrist
03-27-2004, 10:49 AM
Keep in mind he has FOUR cuts of the film right now... Make sure you ask him which copy he's intending to send you.

I've only seen the original cut of the film, so I can't say anything about the others... But he's apparently trimmed it down nearly an hour for one of the cuts.

Incidentally, the DVD's are sold, so he's only got VHS again. But he definitely needs the money, I'd love to see more shit by him.

RyanPC
03-27-2004, 08:01 PM
This was a great review, MC. It really got me interested in seeing the film- one of these days I'm gonna have to buy one from him, even if it is only VHS. He seems like a pretty cool guy judging from the e-mail he sent you. It's too bad that he's running out of money, if RoE is really this great a film, then he should definitely be able to make another one!