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The Alchemist Cookbook (2016)

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Suffering from delusions of fortune, a young hermit hides out in the forest hoping to crack an ancient mystery, but pays a price for his mania.


Joel Potrykus


Joel Potrykus
2 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Ty Hickson ... Sean
Amari Cheatom ... Cortez
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fiji Fiji ... Kaspar


Suffering from delusions of fortune, a young hermit hides out in the forest hoping to crack an ancient mystery, but pays a price for his mania.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Horror







Release Date:

7 October 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alchemik See more »

Filming Locations:

Allegan, Michigan, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Director Joel Potrykus used the film as an experiment to see if the audience could care for a character, whom they have just been introduced to, in the middle of a mental breakdown. See more »


Cortez: [eating cat food] It's dry, dawg. It's just a little dry. But it's good.
See more »


References Raw Deal (1986) See more »


Run Away
Written by Josh Caterer
Performed by Smoking Popes
Courtesy of Double Zero Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Good Idea, Bad Delivery
4 January 2017 | by jegd-847-631407See all my reviews

An anxiety ridden man retreats to the woods with his cat in hopes of discovering how to turn any metal into gold. After attempts with elemental science, he quickly turns to alchemaic magic and summons the devil Belial who takes possession of the man.

Dialogue is important to me - especially when scenery is limited. A good dialogue (for example from Toni Morrison to Quentin Tarantino) will capture the audience an hold them for hours without blinking. The dialogue in The Alchemist's Cookbook gave me time to check my Twitter account ... twice.

I assumed this film could be an ad-lib or improvised performance, but I'm certain that isn't true. This is the first work I've watched from Joel Potrykus. He seems to be motivated by the horror genre which I would love to see in most writers. The problem is Potrykus' attempt to connect it with the real world. There are things in reality that one does not need an imagination to view as horrific - But the translation of mythology to realism eludes many people and (award-winner or not) Joel Potrykus is one of them.

The Alchemist Cookbook seeks to rely on the performance of a single actor, that being Ty Hickson. I'm not familiar with Hickson but I want to guess his character is far removed from himself. While the acting isn't anything to scoff over (It's not easy pretending to be alone staring into a mirror while a camera is on you) - I have no idea who Sean is, what he does or did, or even why he's in the situation we find him in. Sean is a void. He's a man in the woods with a cat, so I had to figure him to be the proverbial "crazy cat-lady" that has vacated society because of her crippling obsessions.

That being - There's a desperate need to understand how a crazy cat-lady got to be where she is. Who was Sean before he became a crazy cat-lady? How about something simple like, "What happened to your leg?".

All in all - I didn't enjoy this movie. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone. But I felt I had to leave more than a simple "Don't Bother It's Terrible" review. Some people do that without explanation so I'll watch the film anyway to decide for myself. This movie, specifically, isn't horror - it's not drama - I don't know where to place it besides (maybe) a film school experiment.

You've been warned.

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