Reviewed by Vittorio J. Carli
for Reel Movie Critic
Directed by Zeb Haradon. A surreal drama. Unrated (contains nudity, language, sexual situations. Running time: 95 minutes.
“Elevator Movie” is a disturbing, mesmerizing, and psychologically perverse film that will be playing at next week's Chicago Underground Film festival.
The film makes up for its low production values with originality and provocative performances.
It's about a man and woman who are stuck in an elevator together for months. He wiles away the time writing, drawing, and masturbating, and she tries to draw him out in conversation. Eventually the two of them connect and learn each other's dark secrets.
They don't have to worry about starvation because every morning their grocery bag magically fills up with food.
The film is a fine showcase for the peculiar talents of the rookie film maker, Zeb Haradon. Haradon stars in the film, and he also directed and wrote it.
His next feature “Waiting for Nesara” promises to be just as quirky. It's a documentary, which is about a group of ex Mormons waiting for a law that will remove power from the reptiles that secretly rule America .
Zeb's costar is Robin Ballard who has done several children's films for the Disney channel, and she also studied inprov at the Groundlings Theater. She never over emotes and is always cool and convincing.
Zeb and Robin play two characters which are opposites in many ways, and they play off each other rather well. Lana (Robin's character) is a former nymphomaniac drug addict who found gave up sex after she became a born again Christian.
In contrast, Jim (played by Zeb) is under experienced and knows little about the opposite sex. He is in his mid 20s yet he's never slept with a woman or had a girlfriend. Naturally, he is very attracted to Lana and she begins to feel something for him as well.
But when they are about to consummate their feelings, she is goes through a horrifying and inexplicable transformation.
The film creates a desperate claustrophobic atmosphere similar to the one in Jean-Paul Sarte's “No Exit” which also features people who psychologically torture each other while they are trapped in an enclosed place.
As the press kit indicates, “Elevator Movie” is not a film for everyone. I've never seen anything quite like it, but it is highly recommended to viewers with a warped sensibility and strong stomach.
“Elevator Movie” will play at the Three Penny Theater at 2424 North Lincoln on 8/22 at 7:15 and 8/23 at 9:30 pm.
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