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An ancient wind carries with it omens of the apocalypse, stirring the pride and envy of a group of college kids to murderous rage. Michael Mongillo's directorial debut is a lyrical, meditative film charged with sex and violence.Written by
It is the early morning of our discontent, and some friends of mine and I have just gotten through watching "The Wind." Truly a disaster film. Not in the sense of forces of nature wreaking havoc on an unsuspecting populace, but rather an awful movie wreaking havoc on an unsuspecting audience. To give you an indication of how frustrating it was to watch this particular bomb, I'll give you an example quoted during my first pained viewing. If given the choice of watching this movie for a second time and, say, boiling myself, I'm afraid to say the choice would not be an immediate one. But rather than simply ranting "ad peliculam" with lousy one-liners, I'm going to get specific as to why exactly my friends and I panned this particular film.
To start this off, I like low-budget horror flicks. I even like artsy, low-budget horror flicks. I liked "Cold Hearts", "Midnight Mass," "Jugular Wine," etc. Films that were ambitious and daring, even if they were lacking in production value, execution and even acting. Generally, an interesting premise, unusual camera technique or merely just a well done scene or two will save a movie that is running a little rough around the edges. With these provisos in mind, I would like to say conclusively that I hated "The Wind."
The movie was probably most disappointing in the sense that it was incredibly frustrating to watch. From the actions of the main characters, to the flow (?) of the plot, to the big portents hinted at by the opening which ultimately aspired to dust (and did not even attach themselves logically to what transpired in the remainder of the film, and left the viewer, expecting something more, with a sense of much ado about nothing). The dialogue was spotty at best, woodenly delivered and completely unrealistic. By this I mean, no one in any of the situations that the characters were in would have reacted the way the characters did, or said the things that they said in the way that they said them. There was an obvious lack of vision and direction that would have corrected this problem.
Character interaction and development was abysmal. Claire, the "lambent sex goddess," or so the aggravating, passive-aggressive lamesters in the movie thought, was so overt in her manipulations she may as well have pulled a gun on the characters. Nevertheless, she was the shining high point of the film. The other main characters (with the exception of Mick's Milfy Mom, who was not terrible) are so indistinct that they may as well have been portrayed by the same actor. Let's see if I missed anything: borderline personality, co-submissive goons with profound feelings of sexual confusion and inadequacy, spurred to fits of puerile rage through the artless orchestrations of a loose-lipped bimbette-suddenly-and-unmasterfully-turned-Caligari. No, I think that about covers it.
Lack of scope was also problematic. How did those involved with the making of this film expect the casual viewer to derive that this was the beginning of the end of the world from this amateurish, unbelievable, poorly-portrayed lust pentagon (well, what would you call it?) that occurred largely in the woods in the middle of nowhere? There were no witnesses to the "atrocities" presented. There were no witnesses anywhere in this film.
The believability problems stemming from this lack of attention to detail were rife even from the point where the plot begins to sicken. Case-in-point: If that guy Bob took that route through the woods to come home from the gym, and here's the key, ****every day****, there's a jolly good chance that someone else would have been around to see something at some point afterwards while the perpetrators argued vociferously about the crime scene. One would think that with the murder of a young man in the woods, said town would have been in an uproar, the characters would have been questioned, etc. But instead, there wasn't a witness in sight (other than Earl, the closet psychopath with no inner monologue). We suggest that there be no witnesses *for* this film, either.
As for the quasi-homosexual meanderings present, I don't have a problem with those either. It's not as if they came as a surprise, considering we had been shouting as to the closet case stati of most of the male characters since the second scene. Again, not problematic in and of itself, but thrown in for the wrong reasons. It was utterly unnecessary, thrown in for pure "shock" and/or "dangerous art" value, and neither shocking nor dangerously artistic from any perspective. What we had instead was an awkward attempt to redeem a boring, clumsy movie with a boring, clumsy plot. The poorly hinted-at sexual tension, which was only hinted at heavy-handedly in anticipation of this flaccid snogging scene, only pushed this film further down the totem pole from "mediocrity warranting criticism" to "film sucking so bad that it lacks the inherent grace to suck enough to properly mock and harangue."
So it is with most of the film, a lot of artistic fumbling, very little meat and a lot of aggravation. It's not that we don't get it. Oh, we got it, alright. We just don't want it. Look, the very fact that we were cheering the bludgeoning in the final scene as the *only* tableau that made sense on its face is an indication that something was terribly wrong with this film. Rather than moving briskly along as its name implies, this movie oozed languidly forward like the sweat trail working it's way down the side of your nose while your hands are full. Argh. That sensation pretty well sums up the gut-wrenching frustration realized while watching this train wreck. There is no breath of fresh air with regard to this movie, only the stale miasma of bad ideas poorly realized, putrefying before coming to fruition.
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