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"Watch it the first time, and you'll love the fight sequence. Watch it the second time and you'll become intrigued. The third time, Sockbaby may become your new favorite download." A simple tagline, yet it says it all. When you see it the first time, you'll be awestruck by the fact that a guy known for cartoons like Catscratch and Earthworm Jim can set up these brilliant fight scenes. The second time, you'll realize the sheer absurdity of the fact that this is obviously filmed in a cul-de-sac somewhere. Imagine living there, looking out your window, and seeing this movie being filmed. You'd think someone had drugged your cereal that morning. And the third time is when you can quote the entire thing from memory, are showing it to all your friends, and have told everyone you know that Ronnie Cordova thinks they're gay.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sockbaby is the penultimate (and I love using that word) amateur (or
amateur) film- it is almost zero-budget, has no A-list or even C-list
Hollywood talent- in fact the whole thing was made in Houson,
California. The only actual "big business" professional associated with
the whole film is artist/humorist Doug Tenapel, creator of Eartworm Jim
The story begins with Ronnie and Burger already in custody of the little linen, preparing to go "food up" for the day, when suddenly they are approached by an alien. Enter Davis the Gray. This is when the action starts, after the humor of the bizarre and original dialouge ("What's with no hello?") builds up our funny-factor.
The action, though low budget and not with any star-level martial artists (though with at least one soon in the making with John Soares) is actually highly composed and choreographed. A friend of mine and I even go so far as to say its more exciting than The Matrix Reloaded (though not the original film of course) due to Soares's great sense of fun and style. Following more battles, which have humor and suspense ranging from giant monsters and energy blasts to knife fights, we get pretty much a bit of everything here. The final battle is epic, well set, and very amusing. For a zero-budget film it looks highly professional and very polished.
The costumes are brilliant, from Ronnie's red-Elvis to Burger's cyborg arm and a final character that will just make you go "Whaaaaaaaaa?" And the camera work is very well controlled. The music fits the paces perfectly, coming in at all the right times and emphasizing the fights with much aplomb. Lastly and even less expectedly, the acting is really, really good, as every character is highly amusing and shows off just the right sense of style and bravado necessary for something like this.
In fact, this is probably the biggest little film you will ever have the pleasure of seeing.
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