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On the night Samuel North is to reunite with the girl he loves: Hanna Thompson, he is mysteriously murdered and sent to Hell. Inside "the Pit", two other damned souls on the run help Samuel escape back to the world of the living. Now there's Hell to pay: the Netherworld has sent three invincible bounty hunters called REAPERS to hunt down and retrieve each of the escaped men. Setting out to uncover the mystery of his death and Hanna's disappearance, Samuel finds unlikely allies in his gun-toting fellow escapees Mally and Oz -- who hope that by helping Samuel find Hanna, they can redeem themselves and be free of the Pit forever. Written by
Sometimes death is the end. But sometimes, it is the beginning. In the tradition of "Ghost" and "The Crow" (though very original), "The Other Side" is the story of a man who runs from death in order to solve his own murder and help find his kidnapped girlfriend. But with the police and the reapers after him, does he stand a ghost of a chance?
According to the Internet Movie Database, USC film school graduate Gregg Bishop (who wrote, directed and did pretty much everything for this film) financed "The Other Side" himself with $15,000 (the profits from his film "Voodoo"). One has to comment that this film looks amazing for the budget. Some special effects used far surpass what other, bigger studios have tried to pawn off on their viewers, and the overall acting and story are quite impressive.
I have to say that hell ("the pit") looks cool. Bishop skipped the fire and brimstone and torture route and went straight into the dark, lonely isolation sort of underworld. Not only does this probably correlate better with the Bible, but I think it personally makes for a more terrifying punishment. Confined, alone in darkness for eternity. That's pain.
This film has lots of blood. We're talking "Kill Bill" levels of blood, "Izo" levels of blood. Every gunshot makes a good splatter. And I couldn't be happier about this. While much of the film was more action than horror (the only real "horror" aspects are the fact we have corpses coming back to life), the horror fans will likely appreciate the blood and excessive flesh wounds.
Jaimie Alexander appears in this film, although not as prominently as the cover of the film might imply. Her appearance in this film not only probably helped her career (this predates "Rest Stop" and "Hallowed Ground", as well as her leading roles in "Kyle XY" and that other show), but it helped sell this film. After it was filmed, but before going to DVD is when Jaimie broke through into the mainstream, giving this film an added star it probably hadn't counted on. And with looks that are a cross between Katie Holmes and somebody actually attractive, her presence is a big plus for everyone.
The humor in this was subtle but appreciated. I loved the character of Mally the Adulterer. His womanizing antics were amusing, his one-liners were funny, and I thought the scene where he smokes multiple cigarettes was classic (he's dead -- why not?). There was also a great visual gag involving a neighborhood watch sign that might have been the best thing in the entire movie. I' ma sucker for intelligent and clever humor.
I could make some complaints (aside from the obvious budget constraints). Like, was I really supposed to believe the reapers were 30-50 years old (as reported by the news anchor)? These ages seem a little funny, as I would have put them more in the 25-30 range. In fact, everyone in the film seemed a little young. But this in no way took away from their acting or ability to relate to the audience.
I recommend you check this out to see how to make a film with a limited budget, because I dare you to find anything else on this level. There may be some minor drawbacks, and I thought the twist was a bit hard to accept, but the themes were great and the plot was smooth. Gregg Bishop is a man who knows how to tell a good story and make it look how it should. I eagerly await his next feature film.
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