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The Book of Caleb (2008)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 2008 (USA)
A comfortable underachiever and serial prankster, in the midst of their quarter life crisis, reunite against childhood enemies in a contemporary suburban epic.


(as Matthew Von Manahan)


(as Matthew Von Manahan), | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Luno ...
Michael Hampton ...
Nikitas Manikatos ...
James Paddington
Billy Tanner ...
Joseph A. Fluehr IV ...
General Green
Patrick Reynolds ...
Old Man (as Patrick M. Reynolds)
Thomas Bryan ...
Bus Boy #1
Bill Gartner ...
Bus Boy #2 (as Billy Gartner)
Cary Barker ...
Bill McLaughlin ...
Von Wilson ...


Twenty-something Caleb Callahan, a crusader without a cause, ventures back to his homeland of suburbia to live with his parents after unexpectedly dropping out of college in his final year. Once there he quickly reunites with his childhood companions Montag, the mastermind serial prankster, and Swank, his trusty sidekick. After one of their pranks reaps unexpected consequences, Caleb is forced to be the hero Montag always knew he could be, ultimately saving his friends and giving his life direction and meaning. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Is it better to out-monster the monster, or to be quietly devoured?




Not Rated

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Release Date:

2008 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was Paul Gleason's final acting role before his death. See more »


Montag: I've been interviewing applicants all afternoon, Simon is by far the most qualified... the costume fits perfectly.
See more »

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User Reviews

My review for The Book of Caleb over at www.moviecynics.com
5 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

You have to hand it to independent filmmakers these days. Many of them do whatever they can to get the movie they want to make up and running. It can range from giving blood to donating sperm to using the cheapest film known to man to film the movie or to even begging for donations… it doesn't matter what it is as long as you're ambitious enough to do whatever it takes to make the movie the way you want it be made. Hell, it doesn't even matter how long it took you to make the movie, as long as the ending result is something you are proud of. Such is the case with Matthew von Manahan's film, The Book of Caleb.

In the film, our hero, Caleb Callahan (Jeremy Luno) returns home after dropping out of college… to the surprise of everyone as he was only six credits shy of graduating. Upon arriving, Caleb rekindles his relationship with his childhood pals; Montag (Michael Hampton), the prankster who believes he's figured out everything in life, and Swank (Nikitas Manikatos), the ever trusting sidekick. It doesn't take long before the crew is up to no good and pulling pranks like they used to… that is until one of them involving the gubernatorial candidate James Paddington (Paul Gleason of The Breakfast Club in one of his final roles), goes horribly wrong. After which, it is up to Caleb to man up, face his fears (namely the sinister Scar; played by Jeff Berg) and become the leader that everyone knew he could be.

The Book of Caleb is a surprising little slice of the independent film-making pie. The movie is finely directed by Matthew von Manahan, who spent six years making the film from the basement of his parents' house. By taking as long as he did to finish the film, one can tell that von Manahan is dedicated to his craft; which is a welcomed treat as many would have either given up on the project or rushed it out just to say that they made a movie. This is a missing trait in many filmmakers today… even the "named" directors who started out small and are now making big budgeted movies. Matthew von Manahan's direction skills are so impressive that they are able to save the movie from the randomness that it appears to have by bringing out some fairly decent performances from his cast.

The cast do a nice job with their performances. Usually, with low-budget films, the film is full of actors that attempt to actor but end up doing a subpar job; but here, no one in the cast, a few of which have done mainstream films before (i.e. the late Paul Gleason and Mackenzie Firgens of Rent) seems to deliver a bad performance. Sure, the movie has a case of overacting in Jeff Berg's portrayal of the villainous Scar, but, to be honest with you, the performance is so over-the-top that it's hilarious and doesn't hinder the movie in any way what-so-ever.

The randomness of the film, which could probably be attributed to the writing, is basically the only thing that tarnishes it. There are numerous moments in the movie when things just happen. You never really know why they happen, they just do. It's kind of puzzling when these moments occur, but they are actually pretty funny… to the point that you just go with it and forget the fact that it was totally random in the first place.

When I first heard about the movie, I wasn't really expecting a whole lot out of it, but after seeing it, I can say that I was pleasantly surprised with The Book of Caleb had to offer. So much so that I actually look forward to von Manahan's film… hopefully it doesn't take him another six years to make one. Sadly though, I fear that not everyone will like the film as much as I, but hopefully I'm wrong.

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