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Sunday, August 4, 2013

"The Apocalypse": Gutsy Humorous Take on the End of the World

"THE APOCALYPSE"
Length: 5:46
CompanyGreencard Pictures
Website: Official

We've all been there: it's a long weekend, and you've either already accomplished everything you wanted to, or you're procrastinating and trying to think of something to do.

You're bored, in other words.

And then, an idea pops in your head.

Ahem.
 
 
HEAD GAMES

This is going to be one of the toughest reviews I've ever written, mostly because the power of this film lies in its completely unexpected twist.  Suffice it to say that the apocalypse has come alright, and it's up to humanity to try not to think about what it's going to do about it.

Did you read that last part right?  Did it sound weird?

Yeah, it's supposed to.

Selected for Sundance 2013 and written and directed by Andrew Zuchero, "The Apocalypse" is a bitingly funny and shocking piece of work that will make you think about not thinking.  It pulls no punches, the production values are perfect, the special effects are suitably special.

Word of warning, though: this film is not for the squeamish.  There are some blood and guts.

Again, if I went any deeper than that, I'd spoil the film.


MAKING A DELIVERY


The filmmakers at Green Card Pictures have made a serious effort with this flick, and it shows.  Once the action kicks in and the funny breaks out, the camera becomes a balll of kinetic energy and you're glued to the screen.  The performances are solid across the board -- as a matter of fact, though the film is funny, the actors portray terror so effectively that it was almost a little uncomfortable to watch when the you-know-what hits the wall.

For a split second, it veers into horror movie territory, and the concept really is frightening.

It's what the filmmakers choose to do with it that makes the film memorable, though.  I loved the bit with the long haired guy, trying to convince his hot neighbor that now is not the time for her naughty advances. 


CONCLUSION


But don't listen to me.  The beauty of filmmaking is in the viewing, not in talking about it, and that point is made more clear here.  "The Apocalypse" is funny, shocking and beautifully made.



OVERALL SCORES:

Writing: 3 / 5.  The story knows what it wants to do and goes at it with gusto.  The only problem is that I'm confused by what they meant by the ending scene.  Are these people just THAT dumb or is Zuchero trying to drive home a point here?  I'm not sure.
Directing: 5 /5.  It's a great show here, with slow, lingering shots and crazy handheld action all wrapped up into five minutes of action, and nothing ever feels jarring or whacky.
Editing: 5 / 5.  The production values of this film are just unbelievable, and the energy onscreen is infectious.  A great deal of that can be attributed to the top notch editing, with each shot speeding by like bullets.
Sound/Music: 3 / 5.  Nothing stuck with me, but it did the job.
Acting: 4 / 5.  Pretty much everyone put on a solid show.  The hot neighbor felt a little forced, but that might have been the nature of her character.  Even so, considering how powerful everyone else was, she was a bit of a letdown.

Final Grade: 4 / 5.  The final minute or so doesn't make much sense, or if it does, it doesn't pull together everything we've seen or provide much of a payoff, but the sheer insanity and weird humor of the preceding four minutes turns "The Apocalypse" into a big deal indeed.  I loved it!

How many more reasons do you need to check it out? 

To watch the film, check it out on YouTube and visit the official website here.  When you're done there, check out Greencard Pictures' official site, too!



Thanks for reading! I'm a screenwriter and script consultant. Most recently, I've worked with LMC Productions and Mad Antz Films in Australia. I helped mold Goodybag Productions' award winning screenplay "The Teacher" and Michael Maguire's feature length script "The Wolfpack", which is still in development.

Check out my blog and let's get in touch!