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|Index||35 reviews in total|
If you've never heard of 'Drawing Flies', i don't blame you. If you
aren't a fan of Kevin Smith, i don't know how you even got ahold of
this review. But, anyways, let's focus on the movie. Very interesting
indeed. When Kevin Smith was making 'Mallrats' in 1995, two
friends, Malcolm Ingram and Matt Gissing, recruited cast
members for their own little movie. From the Mallrats cast
members, they managed to catch Jason Lee, Jason Mewes,
Carmen Lee, Renne Humphrey, Ethan Suplee, Joey Lauren
Adams, Scott Mosier and Kevin Smith himself. They managed to
make this film which dissapeared pretty quickly. It never got a
theatrical release and was only shown at small film festivals
including Kevin Smith's own View Askew-fest 'Vulgarthon '98' and
'Vulgarthon 2000', festivals which feature films made by him and
friends. Since then, it has became interest of all View Askew
fans(Including me) who constantly bug Malcolm Ingram about it on
Kevin's View Askew WWWBoard. One of the main reasons it was
of interest to VA fans was because Kevin appeared as 'Silent Bob', a
character he made famous in films like 'Clerks', 'Dogma' and most
recently, 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back'. On February 26th, it finally
got its release on DVD along with a whole bunch of well-deserved
extra features. After reading many reviews, it is, as Malcolm says in
the commentary, 90 and 10. 90 percent of people don't like it and
10 percent do. I believe that i'm in the 10 percent of the people. The
first time i saw it, i wasn't really sure what to think about it but the
second time i saw it, i loved it. It's a really good film. The plot
follows Donner(Jason Lee), Jake(Martin Brooks), Az(Jason
Mewes), Meg(Rennee Humphrey) and Cassidy(Carmen Lee) who
all live off welfare in Canada but one fateful day, they are cut off of
welfare and have to find a way to survive. Donner suggests to go to
his uncle's cabin in the middle of the woods. But what his friends
don't know is the fact that he is going crazy and is actually looking
for the legendary Bigfoot. Needless to say, chaos ensues as
Donner gets more and more crazy. I really thought the comedy was
funny, the drama was moving and the film overall was the kind of
film Hollywood should be making but if Hollywood did, they would
probably butcher it up. I highly recommend seeing 'Drawing Flies',
it's the kind of movie that only comes around once in a
century(Yes, you heard me. A century!).
9 1/2 out of 10
Judged on it's own merits, it's a decent movie. When considered as part of
the View Askew universe, it is a whole lot of fun. The basic plot is quite
clever, Jason Lee's performance is excellent, and its a lot of fun to see
most of the Mallrats cast reunited for this film. Its a very talky movie,
but is never boring.
Of course, this film has it's share of problems, too. Poor sound, the fact that large sections of the movie seem to be missing ( it is somewhat disjointed and has a running time of less than a hour), plus an ending that I didn't particularly like.
If you're not a fan of View Askew, then there is no real reason to watch this movie. If you are a fan, then by all means buy the DVD. After one initial viewing, be sure to watch it again with the cast commentary.
I gave this movie 7 stars.
I can't see why that there are a lot of negative reviews for this film, it's very funny. It might not be as good as the one's directed by Kevin Smith, but so what. The plot is basically Jason Lee taking several friends out in the woods to go to his uncle's cabin, but his friends find out that there is no cabin after all. Jason Lee and the rest do a good job and you can see Kevin Smith in a cameo in the scene at the party.
For those of you expecting a great Kevin Smith comedy, this is not it. This
is basically a very good student film. The pace of this film is really
uneven and the non-Jason Lee characters needed a little more depth. The
sound and picture quality is a bit low - the audio almost drops out a couple
the good news: if you're a fan of Jason Lee you'll enjoy this one. He pulls an "Atlas" and carries the entire film. There is also some suprisingly good cinematography. I was suprised to see that 90% of the cast of Mallrats is in it.
bottom line: rent first, buy later.
I finally tracked down a copy of Drawing Flies on DVD - O.K., I had to go on holiday to Canada, but I got it, and that's the main thing! To be honest, I wasn't expecting much, as pretty much all I knew about the film apart from the View Askew connection was that it was very low budget, and in black & white. However, it's got a very `Clerks` style of script (no bad thing), and some sharp and witty lines. Unfortunately, to me, the script seems just a little underdeveloped. Not bad, just, not quite fully rounded. But hey it's low budget, and fun ... perhaps I'm being overcritical. The cameos are fun to spot - mostly under assumed names, too - and the cast seem to be having a whale of a time. One thought - wonder if the makers of The Blair Witch Project ever saw this film? Black and white / Lost in the woods / mysterious monster lurking / injuries / fallings out ....... Hmmmmmmm
One of the things I enjoyed most when I began to seriously study films was finding (at art houses, for the most part, or at screenings on college campuses) the early efforts of neophyte filmmakers. DRAWING FLIES reminds me of the feeling of satisfaction one gets after a long, arduous search when one comes away from a new discovery feeling that the running time was time well spent. At no point in the proceedings was I bored. There may be some unevenness (mostly of a technical nature, which is the bane of all no-budget productions), but this is excellent low budget filmmaking; take it from someone who's been there and done that. Would make a good double-bill with Onur Tukel's black and white first film, HOUSE OF PANCAKES.
I suppose one could describe any bad or inept movie as surreal. In many
cases you could even build up a solid case.
Here's a start for "Plan 9 From Outer Space" - In dreams the surrounding don't look or feel real. The people talk in strange tones and rhythms that have little resemblance to how people speak. Random images appear and become juxtaposed for no particular reason with other images. Entire scenarios appear out of nowhere and lead to nothing.
The things I said there all could be put to that thesis. All those things are true of both "Plan 9 From Outer Space" and the human dream cycle. Given the time, energy and desire, I could expand that theory into a full blown essay and probably even draw some deep symbolism out of the whole thing.
Does that mean I should start putting my Ed Wood DVDs next to my Luis Buñuel DVDs on the shelf?
I don't think so.
"Drawing Flies" is many things. Genuinely surreal, in any meaningful sense of the word, isn't one of them.
It is confused. It is tedious to sit through.
It's painful to watch the actors put in such a good show with so little material to back them up. Poor Jason Mewes has a part as a pretty non-"Jay" regular guy in this, and does a respectable job with it, all for naught, though, as his character does nothing of note through this piecemeal throwaway.
The cinematography is bland, but could be forgiven considering the budget and inexperience of the directors. Nothing can be said to forgive that editing, though. A monkey with a rusty camping knife and some rubber cement could have done a better job of editing.
As to the story, it switches between misguided sub-soap opera melodrama based around character relationships it never bothers to make clear enough to create empathy for and rather lame attempts to mimic Kevin Smith's humor style. Neither works on its own or as a companion to the other, leaving the movie flailing in the wind with nothing to do.
I wish everyone involved the best, I'm sure they're all groovy cats. I know the cast is. I just don't see any merit to this movie as a work of its own at all. Sloppy.
This is one truly awful film. Poorly shot acted and written. I'd rather be hung upside down and beaten across the feet, then to have to endure this mess again.
During Mallrats shooting, two friends of Kevin Smith, Malcolm Ingram
and Matt Gissing, recruited Mallrats' cast for their own project. This
is extremely low-budget black and white movie, in which, at least as
cameo, appear almost whole cast of Mallrats. IMDb says it is comedy,
but it's crap. This has almost nothing to do with comedy. It is
drama/adventure, with pretty good story, and Jason Lee carries it
beautifully. The rest of the crew is good too, but their characters are
not so well developed. Technically, movie is pretty bad, with
unbalanced sound that almost disappears few times, and all together it
leaves overall impression of amateur movie, or maybe homework of first
year film student. But there are some great shots too. For some reason,
most of rips on internet have first 15 minutes missing, but full 76
minutes version can easily be found to watch online. And do not even
try to search for subtitles in any language. I warmly recommend using
headphones to be able to understand all the lines. If you are not View
Askew fan you should probably skip this, but if you like Kevin Smith
movies, you are fan of Clerks or even Blair Witch Project, I think
you'll find it worthy of your time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Posted from myspace.com/lyonsfreelance.com
An obsessed fan of Star Trek may be called a Trekkie. I call myself an Askewie: an obsessed fan of View Askew. There are now many films produced under View Askew, but the ones truly deserving to be obsessed by an Askewie are the ones in theView Askew Universe: Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back, and Clerks II (It is permittable, however, to enjoy other movies by the View Askew God, Kevin Smith, such as Jersey Girl and Zack and Miri Make A Porno) But what about their red-headed step-sibling? What about that rare lost View Askew film, Drawing Flies? What about it?
Drawing Flies may be arguably part of the aforementioned series with many names:Askewniverse,New Jersey Trilogy, the Clerks films, etc. Although it is not written and directed by Kevin Smith, in which the others are, but by Malcolm Ingram, who did the less-known View Askew produced film, Small Town Gay Bar. Kevin Smith is, however, the producer, along with his partner, Scott Mosier (no, not that kind of partner, you sicko, that partner is Jen Schwalbach). The arguable points in favor are one: most of the cast are from other Clerks films (as Kev seems to enjoy recycling actors); and two: Askewniverse characters are employed in this film (as Kev seems to enjoy recycling characters).
The said cast are Jason Lee, Jason Mewes, Joey Lauren Adams (credited as Lauren Lyle), Renee Humphrey (Tricia Jones from Mallrats), and Carmen Llywelyn (Kim, Alyssa Jones's girlfriend in Chasing Amy; and the model of the poster in which Silent Bob crashes through and into the dressing room to reveal, again, Joey Lauren Adams, in Mallrats) (credited as her married name at the time to co-star, Jason Lee). The said characters are Silent Bob and William Black, portrayed respectively by their original actors, Kevin Smith and Ethan Suplee. The said are also credited as their character names ("Silent Bob as himself" and "Ethan as William Black").
The story follows roommates, Lee, Lee, Mewes, Humphrey, and no-namer Martin Brooks, into the British Columbian woods for a camping/hiking trip after refused from their Welfare checks. Throughout their joint-and-vodka-fueled adventures, they stumble across a diaper clad gang led by Scott Mosier.
Only later do they realize that they were used for a "delusional" mission of Jason Lee's character, Donner, to discover Sasquatch. After learning of Donner's ploy, wounded Az (Mewes) and Cassidy (Mrs. Lee) leave the rest of the gang to return to ....Vancouver...., while Meg (Humphrey) and Jake (Brooks) attempt to nurse Donner back to sanity. Meg and Jake fail however as Donner plunges to lows of rubbing himself in "sasquatch" feces and even eating it! The acting can be said to have been lost if wasn't for Mr. Lee's "Atlas" role of carrying the film on his shoulders, according to a reviewer on IMDb.com. Also, the quality is very low in the looks and sounds department. Clerks was also in black and white but did not look as shitty as this. In addition, I had a difficult time trying to classify the genre between my choices of comedy and drama, no clear signs were shown. Again, I'm going to have to recommend that you reserve some time from your busy movie-viewing life for Drawing Flies, the possible lost View Askew film.
To read more reviews or other forms of writing from me, check out my aforementioned site.
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