A quirky, out-of-of place worker at a crucifix factory in the Bible Belt invents a device he claims can show pictures of Heaven. Discouraged and confused by the inability of those around ... See full summary »


1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernie Blick
Julia Purcell
Barton Heyman ...
Sherriff William Orling
Jane Hoffman ...
Emily Southwick
Reathel Bean ...
Fred Savins
Kitty Mei-Mei Chen ...
Joel Krehbeil ...
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T.V. Interviewer


A quirky, out-of-of place worker at a crucifix factory in the Bible Belt invents a device he claims can show pictures of Heaven. Discouraged and confused by the inability of those around him to see anything but a screenful of static, he charismatically hijacks a bus of friendly elderly people in order to get media attention for his invention. Written by Keith Tyler <romulus@shore.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


STATIC... it's on a different wavelength.


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 September 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Necessity  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Mark Romanek has disowned the film, despite it launching him to a film career. 17 years later after making music videos, Romanek made One Hour Photo (2002), which he calls the movie his true directorial debut. See more »


Referenced in Closure (1997) See more »


Composed by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Performed by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
See more »

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User Reviews

A must-see for indie fans everywhere
10 July 2002 | by (Chicago, IL) – See all my reviews

"Static" is the rarest of gems. I am glad Mark Romanek went on to make my alltime favorite music video (Nine Inch Nails' 'closer'), because had he not amazed me with that video, I probably would never have been interested in seeing "Static". When I finally did see this film, I was even more amazed at how great it truly turned out to be, and wondered why it was that I had to discover the film all by myself rather than it being directly recommended to me.

The story and directing is very captivating, as I soon found myself intently watching every second of the film to see what was going to happen next. Keith Gordon (who co-wrote the script with Romanek) was dead-on in his portrayal of Ernie Blick, an out-of-place young man in small town America with an obsession over his new 'invention'. It also took "Static" to turn me into an Amanda Plummer fan.

The movie's soundtrack alone is entertaining. No wonder Romanek went on to a career in music videos as he obviously has a wide knowledge of music. I mean, what can you say about a soundtrack that effectively includes songs from both The The and Elvis?

I can't help but believe that "Static" is one of the roots of today's massive independent film movement. All of the key elements to current popular indies can be found in "Static": limited budget, dark humor, a disturbed main character, psychologically-driven drama. The film's ending is original and surprising even by the standards of the modern 'twist-in-the-end' craze. What made me appreciate "Static" that much more is that it still didn't sit you down and spell everything out for you at the end with a narrated flashback montage (like too many movies do). Instead, it's up to you to figure all out yourself.

If you are a fan of today's popular independent films - especially Pi, Memento, or Donnie Darko - then please do yourself a favor and take a timewarp back to '85 to find out where these films originated from. See "Static".

13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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