6.0/10
341
11 user 15 critic

The Guatemalan Handshake (2006)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | January 2006 (USA)
A mysterious power failure in a small mountain town coincides with the disappearance of one of its most eccentric young residents. Mystery piles upon mystery as his family and friends ... See full summary »

Director:

Todd Rohal

Writer:

Todd Rohal
Reviews
5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Katy Haywood Katy Haywood ... Turkeylegs
Ken Byrnes Ken Byrnes ... Mr. Turnupseed
Will Oldham ... Donald Turnupseed
Sheila Scullin Sheila Scullin ... Sadie
Rich Schreiber Rich Schreiber ... Stool
Kathleen Kennedy Kathleen Kennedy ... Ethel Firecracker
Cory McAbee Cory McAbee ... Spank Williams
Ivan Dimitrov Ivan Dimitrov ... Ivan
Andy Nadler Andy Nadler ... Barnard
Jim Ligons Jim Ligons ... Curtis
VaLonda Harris VaLonda Harris ... Delabia
Sam Myers Sam Myers ... Lunchmeat
Andy Sheffer Andy Sheffer ... Neckface
T.J. Bream T.J. Bream ... Leonard
Christopher Morse Christopher Morse ... Insurance Man
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Storyline

A mysterious power failure in a small mountain town coincides with the disappearance of one of its most eccentric young residents. Mystery piles upon mystery as his family and friends search for him, fail, and ultimately try to forget about him, an undertaking that results in many unexpected, and in some cases bizarre, effects on the town's already peculiar community. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A feast for the senses... a challenge for the brain.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Guatemalai kézfogás See more »

Filming Locations:

Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.15 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Totally encapsulates...
13 November 2009 | by jeffsimon2006See all my reviews

...everything that's wrong with "indie" film. This is a hatefully pretentious, yet mind- bogglingly stupid film, made more maddening by the apparent size of the budget.

It's as if the director sat down and wrote a list of the hundred quirkiest things he could think of, and then just strung them together into a "screenplay," thinking he was too much of an artiste to worry whether it made sense, or meant anything, or had any connection whatsoever to the experience of real human beings. 'Cause to try to actually reflect real life or tell a real story is so cliché, right?

The truth (apparently lost on most adherents to this unfortunate genre) is that "indie" films have been around long enough to have their own catalog of clichés, and this movie is nothing but cliché, cliché on top of cliché with cliché garnish. It's like every character works at Tchotchky's, but instead of flair, each one has to wear fifteen pieces of cliché. Todd Solondz would think this was indie garbage.

I've seen reviews that praise this film's multitude of interesting characters. In fact, every scene is about the same person: the director. He seems to be constantly insisting how quirky, how indie, how profound he is. Well, anyone can write an eccentric character. What's difficult is to make an eccentric character believable as an inhabitant of planet Earth, an achievement the director does not even attempt. There are no back stories, no explanations for how these people became who they are or why they feel the way they do. It's just a pile of writer's invention, and we're supposed to be impressed--nay, moved by it. It's not moving, it's not funny, it's totally intellectually lazy, and wretchedly proud of itself.

The most hateful thing about movies like this is that their only goal (as far as I can tell) is to deceive. To deceive audiences, critics and festival-goers into thinking that the director is a profound and creative man, a complex individual whose scope of imagination is matched only by the intensity of his empathy. Baloney. This was not a story that was dying to get out, nor a reflection of deep seated passions, nor a portrait of hometown nostalgia. It was an exercise in narcissism by someone who treats the art form like his vanity table. But people buy it. The reviews are mostly good. The user comments on this thread are unfathomably adulatory. What can one say? People are gullible. And stuff like this intimidates them into thinking they liked it. I didn't. I hated it. Can you tell?

The cinematography was good.


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