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Diabolical Tales Part One: Genesis of the Men from Within the Earth http://www.diabolicaltales.com/ **1/2 Winner ShockerFest AVID Editing Award Best Editing. Written and Directed by Brandon Kane Brian Bedell Mike Larose S. Matthew Aod Rachel Knutton Don Gerron Ted Cunningham Brian Van Kay Joe Mahoney Ken Wester Erika McCauley Christian Wheeler Brandon Kane
Spoilers will be involved here, but don't worry. I could tell you the whole film verbatim and you still need to see it, just to watch all the stuff that happens.
OK, this is beyond a doubt my favorite film in the 'not to be taken seriously category' that I have seen in quite a while. Relatively short, less then an hour in fact, but filled with almost as much schlock as one can stick in a film and still not double over laughing at what you are doing. Starting out sometime during World War 2 with Nazi's trying to get in touch with this superior underworld (really Underworld) society to get the aid in subjugating mankind. They are unsuccessful, but go of clicking their heels at the prospect of trying again. And we all know what happened to the Nazis. Well OK, I won't do my easy political joke. (Cough Taliban Cough) To continue, we cut to 1952 and two F.B.I. agents are trailing Frank Sinatra to see if he is hanging out with any underworld (criminal, above Earth type) figures. The two agents are parked across the street from a house where Frank is. Parked in what appears to be a 2004 Montana Minivan. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't think we had too many minivans in 1952. I honestly think someone would have noticed it back then. It is at this point that some people need to be aware this is NOT a serious film. If the Nazi's as they were leaving didn't give you a clue, then the cars should. This is what is called 'shlock' normally used in connection with something shoddy or that is considered to be of less quality or inferior to the same thing around it. In this case, movies of a certain genre. Brandon Kane, the writer and director, has attempted to 'send up' or spoof the serials' and cliffhangers of the '30's-40's and 1950's with this very low-budget offering. Back then, you could go to a theater and watch a double feature (that is two full length movies) a newsreel, a cartoon and usually what was called a "Serial", a feature film broken up into multiple parts, probably ten to fifteen minutes long ending each episode with what was known as a cliffhanger where the hero or heroine is mired. in a seemingly inescapable trap. The opening next episode would show them escaping by some method. And you could see all of this for a price that ranged from the 1930's .05 cents to a whole .75 cents by the late 1950's, Kane is beyond a doubt a fan of these old shows using the standard story line of an FBI agent whose partner is killed by a mysterious force join up with an even more mysterious figure working for some secret American agency. In this case, it is FBI agent Cooper (Bedell) who goes to work with NSA Agent Operative-132 (Larose) to track down the 'communists' that killed Coopers partner, Agent Thompson (Joe Mahoney). Along the way, Cooper learns he is actually fighting an even greater threat and he learns that all good Agents drink a lot of 'Joe to keep their stamina up for all those missions. Cooper is relentless with his desire to see justice served, while Operative-132 simply wants to save the world from destruction. Their adversary, a man in black, has plans to use a stolen Hydrogen bomb to start a war between the U.S. and the Russians. The camera work in the film reminded me of those same films I mentioned earlier, but recorded on Digital. It was grainy, and looked like it was in either a light rain or a fog the whole time. It was excellent. The editing was also a surprise, the way they were able to lay everything in the way it was supposed to be with very little jerky segments you might have expected from a film like this. I loved the little jokes in the film, like the cars, seeing stuff that was very out of place like the phones or watches. "Diabolical Tales: Part I - Genesis of the Men from Within the Earth" won't fit on most marquees, but it certainly fits in my shelf. This is a fun little DVD, filled with a bunch of little gems from behind the scenes, information on the next couple of films, stuff about the cast and crew, interviews and lots more you just have to watch. Check it out.
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