A couple months ago, I was recommended a video on YouTube about the career of James Rolfe (The Angry Video Game Nerd). I like listening to videos while I work on scripts or write Demise of Film or work on my book. I figured it could be interesting and noticed the guy mentioned how he made a film himself.
I found myself listening to this guy's videos and eventually subscribed to his channel. Then I decided to check out his content more and even decided to check out his movies: Mandao of the Dead and Mandao Returns. I'll cover the sequel next week.
The first thing I noticed was the cinematography is really good. Okay, so, there's this movie called Seclusion. It's so bad that not even Cinema Epoch wants to carry it anymore. That dude had way more money than Scott and this looks like a professional movie. Heck, this is better than most Asylum films. Way to go Scott!
Now, many of you may be wondering why I'm bringing this up. I watch a lot of independent films and the biggest problem is that that all start looking the same. It all starts looking like The Room after a while and Mandao of the Dead doesn't fall victim to this.
The story is also really interesting. It's about this guy Jackson and his "friend" Uncle Jay. There is some dialogue to explain why he's Uncle Jay, but it's not important, I'm also going to refer to him as Uncle Jay throughout my review. Uncle Jay discovers that he can astral project and uses this power to help a spirit trapped between planes.
The gore effects are pretty good (this is going to be important when I talk about the sequel). My biggest complaint is a lot of the humor didn't really land for me. Sean McBride's character came across as...special needs? This is something else that I'm going to cover with the sequel.
For me, a lot of the more comedic bits had to do with the reaction people had to Uncle Jay traveling through time to fix things.
I liked this movie. It really makes me kick myself for not making movies as awesome as Scott. Usually when I see an indie film that makes me think my projects are crap, they have like $500,000 and a slew of people working with them. Scott took a small amount of money and a small team and made this really enjoyable film. I commend you, Scott.