Awhile back, we posted an interview with director Chris Seaver and he mentioned a couple of his films that were around the bend. Well, that day has arrived. With these 2 new films, Low Budget Pictures have somehow managed to both create the most commercially appealing film in their history, and one of it’s most offensive. Though, it’s always been evident that Chris Seaver isn’t worried too much about being a hot shot big name, he occasionally tap into a very accessible vein and it gives his work a broader appeal. Case in point: ‘”Geek War” is a film that could push his career into a different realm, if there ever was a film of his that could. The film capitalizes on the humorous side of geek culture (i.e., comic books, fantasy film), all the while, telling a fantastic love story.
The story revolves around Max (LBP regular Kurt Indovina) and his band of cohorts. They eat, sleep, and breath comic books. While the local comic book shop, owned by my pal from another world, Deathbone, is their haunt, for Max it serves a great purpose: It’s the home of the much sought after “tape”. No one knows what is on this VHS tape, but as geeks go, if no one has it, then you MUST have it! When the day finally arrives for arrives for Max to make the illustrious purchase he’s met with a healthy dose of bad news: Someone has beat him to the punch. Enter enemy: Papillion (the hilarious Josh Suire). He travels in style, with 2 bitches at his sides. As Max’s rage is about to spill over, he finds out that Papillion isn’t the one who’s foiled his plan. Deathbone informs him that a beautiful young woman named Tangerine has lured the tape from his clutches (played by scream queen, Raine Brown). Naturally, as any good geek would do, he puts the full court press on her and makes his threats, to no avail. After chatting up his friends for a game plan, they decide the best way to get the tape is to infiltrate her life, befriending this new, cute stranger. Trouble is, when Max shows up, Papillion is already there putting the heat on her. Thus begins the Geek War! Though Tangerine has set her date with Papillion, she agrees to meet up with Max the following day. Without knowing, Max and Tangerine hit it off and Max starts to develop feelings for the geek girl. She becomes a part of his gang and they, eventually, commence the relationship. Papillion sees what’s happening and decides he has to set Max up by turning Tangerine against him. Will love will out?
As far as description goes, I don’t want to give the movie away, so I’ll stop there. I can tell you, however, that this is one of the best films to ever come out of the LBP camp. Everything about it is fun. It looks great, the jokes hit, the good guys are good, and the bad guys are bad. The film is dead-on, in terms of accessibility. What you get from Geek War is a realistic scenario that makes you feel good after watching it. The characters aren’t some weird hybrid of human and creature and though they are on the extreme side, are still fun and lovable.
The cast is vital to the success of the story being carried. The combination of new faces and some of the usual suspects was, I think, the key to success here. With folks like veteran Meredith Host and Josh Suire, you know you’ll get a consistent and entertaining performance. Josh Suire is brilliant as the rich and nasty antagonist. His deliberately over the top delivery has never ceased to entertain me. What made it so special this time was the fact that their were no fake moustaches or silly make up-it was just him, in his glory, giving us the goods. Meredith Host’s portrayal of Suki, Max’s best friend, is a classic example of what she does best. No one plays annoyed better than her. Suki is the common sense factor in Max’s life. When it seems as though pussy has got his head a mess, she reminds him of why he’s here. It’s an appropriate geek yin to his geek yang. Though she isn’t in the entire movie, Jesse Ames does her usual magic by throwing some Marge action into the movie, as well as the aforementioned Deathbone appearance courtesy of one of indie film’s best/most underrated actors, Billy Garberina. Each of these LBP vets know how to translate Chris Seaver’s work and this movie shows them at the top of their game.
On the new end of things, we got our first glimpse at what I hope will be a longstanding relationship between The Seavage and Shawn Phillips. For all intensive purposes, he ends up stealing a lot of scenes. He’s got great comedic timing and has 2 of the best lines/moments in the entire film. I think I may be in love with this guy.
The film’s 2 stars, Kurt Indovina and Raine Brown, have managed to make an LBP film, dare I say it, sweet and endearing!!! Yes, that’s right-the story that involves their 2 characters has an emotional arch that Seaver hasn’t written before, or at least not to this extent. This role for Kurt Indovina solidifies him as a genuine, out and out, good fucking actor. He’s believable, sincere, and downright funny. This is the first time in the history of LBP that I’ve looked at one of the actors in their midst as a true leading male and if it’s this same mentality that will continue to solidify roles for Kurt, then it’s well deserved. And the same is to be said for his co-star, Raine Brown. She’s been building a name for herself as a B-movie scream queen, but in Geek War, she shows off the lighter side of her acting ability and frankly, I like it. She’s adorable and Tangerine is the type of hot-but-geeky-chick that would give the most militant of geeks a boner. Essentially, Tangerine is the geek male fantasy: She’s beautiful, funny, sweet, and knows her shit well enough to school a guy in it. Raine’s delivery of a carefree comic book chick is perfection and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her pop up in more of thier flicks as well as picking up some more great indie horror roles. Make sure you hit her up on her website (rainebrown.com) or her myspace page (myspace.com/rainebrown) and find some of the other films she’s been in as well.
Geek War is going to set a very high watermark for Mr. Seaver and his company. It’s got the lightheartedness of a date movie, but holds on tightly enough to it’s potty mouth and dirty mind to be a film only Chris Seaver could make. If you fancy yourself a long time Low Budget Pictures fan, then make sure you get your hands on Geek War because this is what the future of that company looks like…and that’s a pretty bright future!
Now, the counterpart to Geek War is a nasty revisit to an LBP franchise known as Filthy McNasty 4: Beyond McNasty. If you’re reading this, you’re already familiar with the concept behind the previous 3 flicks. Well, this isn’t a drastic change. You know, the usual…sex demons grant the sexual wishes of a person not getting the amount of play they want, with a trade off of that person leading people to the sex demons to be death fucked for power. Simple, right?! Right?!
I loved the first 3 Filthies (with a particular affinity for part 3) and was glad to hear that they were shooting a fourth. This one sees the return of Choach (which is always lovingly knocked out by AJ Stabone) as well as Desiree-Saetia taking the lead female role, going from geek to sexual killing machine quite effectively. Again in this one, Kurt Indovina, Meredith Host, Jesse Ames, and Shawn Phillips carry the bulk of the movie with their usual consistency and outrageous delivery (Jesse and Meredith serve double duty here as good guys AND evil sex demons). Another nice surprise to the cast was seeing the return of Jason McCall to the role of Clavell, but this time dressed in viking gear and ready to kill the demons.
Filthy 4 doesn’t have the fraction of the heart that Geek War does, but then again, why the hell should it? It’s not about love and it’s not about friendship…it’s about sex!!! The cast and film maker are clearly aware of the fact that their film is being vile and ironic. It’s supposed to. Chris Seaver knows how to be a pervert and that’s what drew me to his films in the first place. Filthy McNasty is an example of what people have always known LBP to be capable of. Funny enough, the very thing that they’re known for is what they’ve been getting away from for the past couple of years. They’ve progressed so much as a company, I was a bit surprised that they would do a sequel to a movie that is now, a part of the old guard. Fortunately, with the mix of old and new faithfuls, the movie rolls along at a great pace. The jokes and sight gags are spot-on, and fo course the dirty stuff is PLENTY dirty. Look, this is what this series of films is all about. The Filthy McNasty films have their roots firmly planted in that John Waters/H.G. Lewis school of goriness and sexuality and that’s what makes them entertaining. The story is a suspension of disbelief to begin with, so once you’ve accepted the concept of sex demons then all bets are off. That’s what a movie like this is all about! It’s about giant demon dicks! It’s about being raped by a turd! It’s about boobs and blood and chaos! And if that’s what you’re down with then, Filthy McNasty 4 is your kind of flick.
Considering these two films couldn’t be anymore opposite of one another, it’s still a fun double bill. Geek War is going to be a big hit with a larger fanbase when it gets released on DVD. It’s got that smartass-but-sweetheart appeal that is going to surprise audiences. I look forward to seeing LBP flourish because of the potential of Geek War. And as a sidenote, putting our personal bonds with the people involved in LBP aside, The Blood Sprayer wants nothing more than to see companies like theirs succeed because they deserve it, frankly. With Geek War, there will be new fans won over and for you old school fans who can’t accept change, Filthy 4 holds onto enough of the classic LBP style to keep you entertained. But at the end of the day, the good news here is seeing an indie like LBP still chipping away at the stone.
Editor’s Note: As of the time of posting this piece, there were not trailers cut for either film, respectively. However, if you do read the interview with Chris Seaver, there is a teaser trailer at the bottom of the post for Filthy McNasty 4. As soon as we get the trailers, they will be up for your enjoyment-Wes