Hola Dannie aqui!
Got a review of "Flesh Blanket" (2017) directed by Brandon Graham and starring Ramsey Moore, Kato Kaelin, Christina DeRosa and Brandon Graham from our reviewer Tron. I laughed out loud while reading Tron's review then had to find the trailer... I included it at the bottom of the review you all may bask in the badness of "Flesh Blanket" with our man Tron! Read on!
The film I am reviewing is "FLESH BLANKET" its run-time: A really long 86 minutes.
One of the great things about going to film festivals is being exposed to brand new movies that
very little to next to nothing are known about and coming away pleasantly surprised at having discovered
something that exceeds expectations.
However, one of the major pitfalls to attending film festivals is
being exposed to films that very little is known about that turn out to be, well, less than stellar. There is a
film making the festival rounds currently called "Flesh Blanket," purportedly a comedy/horror film, that is
generating buzz more for the untimely passing of writer/star Ramsey Moore than for anything that
appears on the screen.
Not much is out regarding Flesh Blanket so, as a public service from someone
who spent those 86 minutes already, allow me to flesh it out a little for you (and let's be honest, that little
gag right there is more comedy than contained in the 86 minute run time of Flesh Blanket).
The first time Flesh Blanket came to people's attention was 2014 when a trailer leaked for a film
called The Lenny Bruce Experiment, describing avant-garde comedy pioneer Lenny Bruce's place in
comedy and his effect on future comedians. The story goes that Lenny Bruce was mounting a huge
comedy festival dedicated to Free Speech and forward-thinking comedy but then died shortly before it
occurred so it never happened. The filmmakers of The Lenny Bruce Experiment had the idea of putting
on a Lenny Bruce tribute comedy show on the anniversary of his death that pushed the boundaries just
like he did, thus coming full circle and realizing Lenny's dream. This 3-minute trailer became the opening
to Flesh Blanket and the main idea of the film.
Shot as a documentary, director Brandon Graham is
determined to make this festival happen with big stars and great production values, thus ensuring a great
turnout and making it a fitting tribute to a comedy legend. He estimates a half a million dollars to get
things off the ground. The trouble begins right there as the financing they dream of doesn't really come
through. Instead of a half million, they are able to raise $13,000, thus changing the scope of the picture.
Gone are the big names, with the exception of Kato Kaelin as MC, forcing the crew to deal with mostly
unknowns and they're not too picky about who they sign up, with the exception of the female comedians
who are chosen for their level of hotness and willingness to go topless as “boobs sell”' A lot of time is
wasted showing you the nobody cast and letting the viewer see their level of 'comedy' which is best
described as poor, and the film takes a good while to get going as you watch the cast vomit for no reason
and 'audition' for parts.
What you really discover, however, is Ramsey Moore.
Ramsey Moore is one of the writers and comedians, as well as a large individual, and the only
person who takes the idea of a Lenny Bruce tribute seriously. He's very much into the idea of Free
Speech comedy and the notion of painful or uncomfortable things being said having a comedic truth
behind them and Ramsey is very unhappy that the collection of people they assembled for the project
don't seem to have the same investment in the idea as he does. He is into the hot girl comedians,
however, and it is this combination of disdain for his co-workers and love of boobs that begin the
unraveling of the whole experiment.
Ramsey's fragile mental state is illustrated perfectly when the crew
begins telling “what's the worst” stories while they travel to the venue. Ramsey tells a gruesome tale about
his little brother drowning and his father, a powerful lawyer who was running for office, made the rest of
the family lie about it so as not to hurt his chances for the election. This story is waaaaaaaayyyyy beyond
everyone else's tales and serves as the first warning sign that Ramsey may be a little touched.
It doesn't help that his dad is providing legal services to the project and shows up in Barstow for the event, an
action Ramsey takes as an affront as his dad is once again stealing the spotlight from Ramsey.
Ramsey does the only logical thing and that's beginning to make his own show independently of the
Lenny Bruce Tribute, which is occurring at the same time. None of the comedians are funny and when
it's Ramsey's turn to hit the stage he gets all super-serious in attempting to explain what Lenny Bruce
really did for the genre and fails to connect with the audience, or the viewer for that matter, who much
prefer the other bad comedians. Ramsey is hustled off stage and consoled by the girls, who by and large
really like Ramsey but he fails to see it during his breakdown, deciding that his show should consist of
asking the girls what they really think of him.
As they tell him, he frustrates them and pushes them around verbally and when they start to get angry he totally kills them. As you'd imagine, once the girls don't show back up, Director Brandon Graham is a little annoyed. Ramsey tells him that their boyfriends showed up and they got into a fight and went to Starbucks.
He is tasked with going to get them back along with another member of the crew whom Ramsey kills along the way.
The rest of the film consists of Ramsey sliding further into his psychotic breakdown and the utter confusion of the rest of the cast andcrew who are really unsure of what's going on as all they're trying to do is stage a comedy tribute. For those wondering, one hour and eight minutes into the film you get the Flesh Blanket payoff and the meaning of the film's title becomes clear.
The main issue I have with Flesh Blanket is the fact that it's listed as a Comedy/Horror film and
the film contains no comedy and no horror. I mean at all. I can count the times I chuckled on one hand
and the number is less than two so of course, I'm looking for the horror to redeem the picture but there's
nothing horrific about the film at all, despite what the new trailer asserts. The Red Band trailer makes this
film look competent, which is why I screened it in the first place, and Marcus Dunstan, writer of SAW 3-
6 asserts, “I walked out of this film twice!”
First off, consider the source. Secondly, I totally believe Marcus Dunstan walked out of the film twice as it's 86 minutes of tedium with very little to recommend itself. None of the kills are on camera, there's the implication of some nastier things occurring but are
poorly followed up on and, even if it was the goriest thing in cinema history it takes so long for Flesh
Blanket to get anywhere that by the time it happened you'd still miss it due to walking out ala Dunston or
by falling completely asleep.
When Kato Kaelin and the girls are the only things keeping you watching
you can chalk this up as a bad picture. I give the filmmakers their due as they actually made a picture and
got it screened and that's quite an accomplishment. Unfortunately, that picture was Flesh Blanket.
In terms of festival films, Flesh Blanket is squarely entrenched in the 'can't win them all' niche
and serves as a great example of a film you go to at a festival that makes all the wonderful things you see
look even better as it's easier to judge a good film when confronted by a poorly executed one.
I have no doubt there will be people who disagree with my assessment of Flesh Blanket and those people either
didn't bother to watch the movie or are fans of comedy/horror films with no comedy or horror. Where I
come from we call that labeling 'misrepresentation.' Regardless, Flesh Blanket is making the rounds
right now and will most likely get some type of release. This review is an attempt to save you 86 minutes
of your life, even if you are curious as to the titular payoff. As always, we all like different things and if
the trailer sells you or you're curious about what a flesh blanket is or even if you're a Lenny Bruce fan or
want to see Ramsey Moore's last film you should probably check it out despite what I feel about it. Just
know you have been warned. Strongly. Against.
Wowza this looks all types of bad! Tron, I admire your cinematic fortitude and thank you for sacrificing 86 minutes (and possibly your sanity) to see this umm, film, and sharing the hate!
Stay Strong, Live Good, Love Movies!
Dannie aka Pekosa Peligrosa