Ken with a review of an impossible to explain movie titled, THE SAVAGE TALES OF FRANK MacGUFFIN.
We start this one in a sleepy town aptly named, Fallingbrook. Frank MacGuffin Is a down-on-his-luck taxi driver, writing pulpy paperbacks to create excitement within his tedium. The stories he writes are exciting, the exact opposite of his ho-hum existence. As layers are revealed to us within Frank and the lore of Fallingbrook, a dark, twisted and horrific tale awaits in the shadows.
When Shrek said he was layered like an onion he had nothing on Frank.
Frank comes off as a Billy Ray Cyrus look alike who isn’t winning in life. That’s an ironic connection. When Clayton Drake isn’t playing Frank MacGuffin he’s actually a member of the group Almighty Rhombus. In fact most of the cast is comprised of local musicians.
Clayton also has the distinct advantage of having driven a cab in real life before.
The director (John Alden Milne) is best known for his music videos, so he’s playing it smart using local musicianshere. The actors are surprisingly capable, even if there’s a wooden line or three.
Amber (Amber-Kelly Mackereth) and Peter Rivest (Mickey O’Brien) play Frank’s fellow cab drivers. They’re all friends, though it’s more implied than shown. Their stories are interwoven throughout the film and at times don’t seem connected at all.
The local sheriff Zander (Mark Fraser) starts off as the cocky know-it-all, local law and ends up being a much deeper character. You see Fallingbrook isn’t as sleepy as it’s assumed. There is all kinds of bullshit going on, behind the scenes, in this town. The only real constant is Laura, looking to get out of Dodge.
Frank goes through the motions. Dealing with personal heartache by spilling it onto the pages he’s penning. The stories grow darker as the film goes the same. This was the hardest part of the film for me. The build-up was rough and disjointed in the beginning. By the end though, you’re watching a confident man behind the lens.
I think if that beginning piece was ironed up a little more coherently it would help this film immensely. That said, they’re literally promoting this as a hallucinatory trip, so maybe I’m off.
Through his stories, Frank unravels a much bigger picture at play. One that’s surprisingly dark, as the movie didn’t give any hints it was headed in this direction. This is my favorite piece of the movie. When the craziness hits, I was hooked and needed to know more about Fallingbrook.
Is Frank creating his own destiny through his fantasized, daily writings?
Early on this one felt very disjointed and hard to follow. By the end, I wanted it to keep going and open up more and more of this bizarre, low-budget world. The tales aren’t so “Savage” until that last half of the film though…Be warned!
This is an illusory tale, told in a singular artistic manner in the first half.
The second half you end up with an occult story, told in a sure manner, full of mystery and horror.
If you like your films weird and not storybook predictable, this one’s for you. If you get past that disorganized beginning, you will be sucked into the story. Wanting to watch it again, by the time credits roll to better comprehend what you just saw.
THE SAVAGE TALES OF FRANK MacGUFFIN is available this Saturday. You can order it here on iTunes. A perfect film for an April 20th smokefest!
6 out of 10 cab drivers agree, yellow makes an ugly submarine.
Til next time Kids
Ken Lewis (AKA: Freddy Beans)
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org