Made for a paltry $17,000, this fascinating indie is the handywork of director/writer/editor & lead character, Evan Glodell, and is difficult to explain. At its heart, it’s a love story (of sorts). But with the combined elements of a 1970’s grindhouse movie and violence that reminds me of “Fight Club,” this movie takes you on a roller coaster ride and right when you think you’re ready to get off, there’s another drop.
The story is that of best buds, Woodrow & Aiden, who have moved from Wisconsin to live in star-studded California. They have dreams of creating their own apocalyptic gang, driving hot rod muscle cars and building flame-throwing weapons to fight off zombies. They are your average twenty-somethings…party-hard, drink harder and never let a woman come between your friends. This way of life is put to the test when Woodrow meets Milly. She’s a loud-mouthed, buxom blonde who can party with the best of them and when they meet at a local bar (in a grasshopper eating contest. YUCK!), it is obvious there is chemistry. For their first date, they drive to Texas to eat at the grungiest restaurant that Woodrow knows and it’s on their journey there & back that they bond and share a first kiss.
From there the movie kicks into a blur of drunken nights and lonely days as Woodrow & Milly date, then break up (the movie never really touches how long they are together) and the rest of the film is how Woodrow deals with his anger over the breakup. The question is…what is his testosterone-fueled fantasy of what he WANTS to happen and how it really happens and that is where this film is unique. Using lots of different lenses and gels, Glodell creates an atmosphere of pandemonium with creative camera angles and stylish editing. Meanwhile, he has given us characters that we identify with and as the relationships begin to crumble, our allegiances start to fall into place.
Although there are no big names in this film, they all deserve some recognition for a job well done. Glodell plays his Woodrow in 2 parts. Initially he’s reserved and shy. Then he becomes angry and unsure as the movie goes on and his relationship with Milly falls apart. Milly, played by Jessie Wiseman, is a flippant character, not ready for a steady relationship and unwilling to settle down for any one person. Their friends are Aiden and Courtney, played by Tyler Dawson and Rebekah Brandes. Aiden is the loudmouthed wingman that every 20-something male needs. He’s unabashedly vulgar and relentless when he gets going. Courtney is the exact opposite. She’s quite and wants to be noticed but isn’t quite sure how to find the affection she craves.
As the movie goes on, “Bellflower” becomes a mish-mosh of creative film-making and violent fantasy and it becomes difficult to tell reality from fantasy. Anyone who has ever been in a broken relationship will probably identify with the way it all falls apart and Glodell is definitely a director and writer who I’ll be looking out for in the future. This fascinating film is Tarantino-ish in its delivery but quite unique in style and Glodell delivers a great indie that I’ll be remembering for a very long time!
Overall Rating: A
10 Second Review: A fascinating indie that does Tarantino justice. A twenty-something’s testosterone-induced fantasy takes hold when his girlfriend breaks up with him. What’s real or what’s fantasy? We may never know…