Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Four New Indie Titles

Encapsulated Movie ReviewsGiving smaller cinema a place to hang it’s hat, on the film docket this week there are tales of women withholding sex (all in the name of getting rid of guns!), found footage anthologies, a lesson in still frame narrated performance art and even a little wedding day possession to keep things interesting.  So check out the Encapsulated Movie Reviews of Is That A Gun In Your Pocket?…, The Dark Tapes, The Royal Road and Demon below!

Gun photo

(Pocketful Films)

From the outset this quirky update of the Aristophanes Greek play Lysistrata might seem like fluffy film fare, but fortunately the sheer entertainment factor of Is That A Gun In Your Pocket?… wins out.  Pitting a dedicated gang of small town women against their respective weapon-toting men in a battle of ‘give up guns or no sex’ (a total Three’s Company scenario if ever there was one!) actually turns out to be both topical (it handles both sides of the issue nicely!) and biting (Cloris Leachman channels her inner foul mouthed Betty White with hilarious results!) – a rare surprise for a flick that at first appears so seemingly safe.  At times bold and brash and with just a dash of dirty, Is That A Gun In Your Pocket?… thankfully isn’t afraid to answer back.

Dark Tapes photo

(Thunder Road Incorporated)

As with most anthology films, this time out featuring all found footage themed tales, there are both ups and downs abound.  (And not just because of the tired style!)  On the bad side there’s a wrap around that’s more complex than creepy and a rehash of the whole Paranormal Activity with merely a twist ending.  Though on the up side the story of the sinfully salacious cam girls gets gleefully grisly fast and the final tale of a repeat abductee’s calculated revenge is seriously satisfying.  (And standout star Brittany Underwood makes one lethal loony!)  Good, bad, but all dark indeed, these tapes do have an acquired taste.

The Royal Road photo

(Wolfe Video)

The Royal Road is a brave experiment in what constitutes a film and for that it certainly gets an originality award.  Matching a captivatingly monotone narration over top 16mm camera shots of various streets, architecture and famed landmarks is daringly different indeed.  Plus the audible dialogue feels more like a stream of consciousness as the storyteller covers everything from the Mexican American War to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.  (Best of the bunch are the personal tales of a lesbian looking for love!)  The only complaint is this one does at times feel a little more like performance art than an actual film – something that could throw off some moviegoers.  But while possibly too strange and stagnate for some, there’s still enough notable odd bumps in this rocky road to warrant a look.

Demon photo

(The Orchard)

I’ve seen quotes comparing this Polish import to the works of Roman Polanski’s, but frankly the dark delights of Demon eluded me.  The film starts off well enough, with Peter arriving in Poland to marry his fiancée Zaneta and finding the house given as a gift has human remains that then inhabit the naïve hubby to be.  But from there the evening just turns weird and tries to go into Lynch like territory with less than memorable results.  Not to mention the fact that I never bought nor was disturbed by the seemingly possessed Peter and his odd antics – a definite detriment for a film that uses it’s main character as the anchor with which the demonic rabbit hole begins.   So despite a promising premise, Demon is interesting, but incomplete.

Gun poster

Dark Tapes poster

The Royal Road poster

Demon poster


I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include nine years at Starpulse.com where I created Forgotten Friday Flick back in 2011, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend, partner and Joblo.com writer James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

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