Outtake Reel is a challenging movie; it is definitely not for everybody. But for those that recognize its merits, it is quite an enjoyable exercise in independent filmmaking.
The narrative is presented as video evidence for a murder trial. By watching the clips, we are told (by the lawyer who introduces the film) that we will discover how convicted murderer, Tom Grayson, a low-budget horror director, murders actress Ashley Swan.
The footage is seemingly compiled from diverse sources: interviews, auditions, behind-the-scenes documentary, video diaries, and footage from Grayson's film.
As we watch the clips, the story that plays out is intriguing with surprise twists and a disturbing scene involving torture. Ironically, at one point in the story, a character begs the question of whether or not gratuitous imagery is necessary to make a good horror movie. The answer to this question is left to the audience to think about.
There is a lot of depth to absorb in Outtake Reel, but the minimalist style of the movie does not overwhelm its viewers. And if the challenge of its extreme imagery is not powerful enough to turn some viewers away, the performance of Ava Santana, who plays Ashley Swan, is bold enough to command appreciation.
Auteur Scott Feinblatt wrote, produced, co-directed, and composed some of the music for Outtake Reel. Feinblatt and co-director / editor Jeffry Chaffin respectively portray Grayson and Grayson's fan / behind-the- scenes documentary filmmaker Danny Wilson.
Outtake Reel also features guest appearances by horror scream queen Tiffany Shepis and Mr. Troma, himself, Lloyd Kaufman. Both offer great performances in a-typical roles: Shepis as an actress auditioning for a film role and Kaufman as a police officer who interrogates Grayson.
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