His bit part as the evangelist became the final film appearance for Gene Evans. See more »
You think this guy Starker is nothing? You're right! He is nothing!He gets nothing out of life so he fixates on some trinket and decides it's precious. It's ridiculous. But it's dangerous. There are over a billion losers out there who all want to believe they're something. Some guy says he found the answer? That's how it starts. Religion. Health food. Aerobics. Pantyhose. Anything... Everything to distract them from the fact that they're bored, meaningless, impotent nothings waiting to die. ...
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Fast, funny and mad as cheese independent science fiction jolter
Sleek, fired up and mad as cheese, Split is exactly the sort of science fiction that I can really dig. A paranoid streak of a film, its hero is a rambling paranoid derelict by the name of Starker pursued by sinister forces as he careens through a run down cityscape of sad, buttoned up and lonely people, it basks in low budget grit, arch dialogue and offbeat humour. Some scenes blaze with energy, some are low key, all are propelled by actors acting as hard as they can. The writing and acting is reminiscent of films like Liquid Sky albeit not as crazy, naturalism is avoided in favour of manic expressions and a kind of forced but honest speechifying, it works well here where otherwise it might be noting more than a mark of ineptitude because in this film every character is moving, thinking, living as fast as they can, even extras delivering scant lines have a barely contained force to them and its a joy to behold. Timothy Dwight is a hoot as Starker, convincingly unhinged and compelling, while as a waitress drawn into his lunacy Joan Bechtel is rather fine, a sympathetic figure cowed by fear and doubt but basically decent, repelled by Starker's madness but not against helping him when push comes to shove. Amusement is provided for a spell by John Flynn as a goofball artist who becomes privy to Starker's scheme (and confronts a rather ace bit of throwaway weirdness), while the main villain is played by the films writer/director/visuals designer Chris Shaw. He doesn't come off quite as well as the aforementioned stars, bringing a performance of more straightforward over the top villainy, but he still capably entertains in the role. His direction is raw and speedy, perfectly suited to the material, while the writing works well, often amusing and insightful too as it skewers variously soulless modern living, individuality, artistic pretension and the surveillance society. Effects work in the film is primitive, a fair amount of basic computer generated imagery is used, visualisations of surveillance technology and some mathematical stuff, fractals and the like, with one rather fun practical set up for the villains lair. I can't really recommend this one to most, as its bound to be offputting and even for folk like me it has some flaws, at times the editing is overcooked and though sly and a lot of fun it never reaches the heights of twisted profundity or just plain bracing madness that lurk in its potential. But for folk who irresistibly groove to this sort of no budget weirdness its well worth looking up. 8/10 from me.
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