Monday, July 28, 2008

Bleak Future

Bleak Future

Starring: Frank Kowal, Brad Rockhold, Wendie Newcomb, Rob Cunningham, Steven A. Kowal

Directed by: Brian S. O'Malley

Written by: Brian S. O'Malley and Steven Darancette

Produced by: AnARcHy 101 Productions

Released: 1997

Ah, B-Movies...Movie viewing experiences don't get better, or worse, than the B-Movies. Exploitation, gore, and bad acting often put together with a tongue-in-cheek sensability and always on a shoe-string budget. Choosing to watch a B-Movie means accepting the limitations. The acting will be bad, but then so is Steven Segall's acting and he was making millions of dollars and these actors almost nothing. The camera work often looks cheap, but then without the budget, they don't have access to the same quality equipment. If you can accept these inherant limitations of a B-Movie, then watching a B-Movie can be a great deal of fun.

Bleak Future is a great deal of fun, but don't except high quality anything except enthusiasm on the part of those involved.

Bleak Future follows Slangman (Frank Kowol), the smartest man in the world because he has a dictionary. Slangman, through one of those random chances of fate, gets a hold of a golden disc that will give him access to all of the knowledge in the Source. But where is the Source? To find it, Slangman enlists the aid of the tongueless Atlatl (Rockhold).

Slangman also falls in love with Femme (Newcombe), a ditzy blonde actress who joins him and Atlatl on their journey. Their trek is frought with danger as mutants working for Dr. Obvious (Cunningham) are trying to track down Atlatl and retrieve the golden disc. Meanwhile, King Malice and his mutants are hunting down Slangman himself for his book!

Will Slangman, Atlatl, and Femme get to the Source before Dr. Obvious? What is the Source anyway? Is it really a resevoir of information as Slangman and Dr. Obvious believe? Or is it a source of doom as hippy hermit Brother Alfonze (Steven Kowol) believes?

Throughout the tale we learned what happened to our world. The nations of the Earth find peace and in so doing decide all of the continents should be closer together. I don't have to tell you how that turned out.

Bleak Future contains satire, witty wordplay, and Monty Python-esque humor. Slangman and King Malice in the opening scene get your attention with the wordplay making you want to pay attention to see how Slangman uses his lexicon to mislead everyone else who have never seen a book. The encounter with the Nomads and Slangman's use of a soda to get by them will remind you of King Arthur and the Knights of Ni from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And the twist ending...well, I can't spoil it for you.

The special effects are actually pretty decent. Not realistic by a long shot, but they accomplish their goal. The mutants are interesting and grotesque. There are a couple of scenes with melting mutants that are revolting.

My one complaint? Where's the skin? No nudity? In a B-Movie? I know it's not unheard of for B-Movies to not have some woman remove her top to draw viewers, but it's rare.

Many of the people involved haven't done anything else, and the ones who did other stuff didn't do much...

Brian S. O'Malley, Frank Kowol, and Steven Kowol reunite in Audie & the Wolf. In this movie written and directed by O'Malley based on a short story by Frank Kowol, Frank plays Jim the Satanist and Steven plays Bounty Hunter Alfonze. When the moon is full, a friendly WOLF turns into a savage, bloodthirsty MAN and goes on a kill spree in a starlet's Hollywood mansion. It stars Derek Hughes and Tara Price and is set to be released on August 14th at the Downtown Film Festival in Los Angeles. Audie & the Wolf MySpace

Brad Rockhold, Rob Cunningham has not worked in films, apparently, since Bleak Future.

Bleak Future was Wendie Newcomb's only acting job, but she was working visual effects through 2001.

Steven Darancette has been writing for animated series such as Krypto the Superdog and Ben 10.

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