Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Some Smoke and a Red Locker – review

Director: Zetkin Yikilmis

Release date: 2019

Contains spoilers

I think what weighs on my mind, as I think about the 94 minutes of my life I won’t get back after watching this, is the fact that the actual photography wasn’t bad for a low to no budget film. Indeed, I have seen so very much worst.

Unfortunately, this was matched by the turgid writing and performances in the film. But, before I go on in that vein, let me give you a story synopsis.

are you serious!

Brutus (Alexander Tsypilev) is playing a computer game and smoking dope when his brother Rufus (Narsh Alexei Smith) comes in and says for him to get off the game – they have things to do. When he doesn’t react, Rufus messes with the computer and wreaks the code. And… I’m going to get back to performance. Brutus starts exclaiming, “are you serious!”… except he doesn’t, it is a turgid, barely mumbled delivery. I assume to give the impression that he is a laid-back stoner.

the zombie

They get to work… on their invention. A time machine (which is literally a red person-sized box with a keyboard pasted on the back wall and the insinuation of some wiring). Brutus has made a remote for it – much to Rufus’ bemusement. Something goes wrong and so they go to bed. They actually share a bed and so Brutus wakes next to his brother, convinced that someone has broken in. He goes out and there is a zombie (Roland Bialke) – which they kill and then take out with the trash.

Zetkin Yikilmis  as Agent Mara

As they go out they see neighbour Mrs Jones (Eva Rolle), a mad cat lady (with toy cats) who makes a crack about her pussy… except it isn’t actually a joke, or comic at least, as there is barely a cogent delivery again (the delivery generally was so bad in places that I actually put subtitles on), with the intonations all wrong. And here we get to the nub of the dialogue and delivery problems. The film is a German film (nothing wrong with that), with a primarily German cast. Unfortunately, it is in English, so it is not being performed in first language (and in some cases it might have been learnt phonetically as the actor may not speak English) but the syntax is all wrong as writer/director/actor Zetkin Yikilmis did not write in her first language (I’m guessing). Now, fair play, I couldn’t even contemplate writing in a second language but we cannot escape the fact that the dialogue is awful and the actor delivery almost entirely poor.

summoning the vampires

So the zombie came from the time machine and they realise they have invented a machine that will bring monsters through space and time. Their next experiment is killed by Mrs Jones who then contacts the authorities… who send Agent Mara (Zetkin Yikilmis), to set a honey trap through a newly opened bar (not filmed in a bar though... low budget remember) and subsequently to try and steal the machine. That is foiled and the guys run away to their Uncle Joe (Michael Tietz) a survivalist, hippy, revolutionary communist living in the woods. He helps train both them and an army of (or two vampires and two other) monsters to fight the government. One happens to be Mr (Oliver Möller) and Mrs Dracula. Vampires have their own language (lysanic) and so Brutus makes a translator.


God this was bad. It was a real struggle to get through and a lot of the problem stemmed from script (which could not maintain a comedy element) and the performances. The absurdist humour might have worked with a much sharper script and actual comic actors. As for the vampires… well when the government arrive they kind of vanish… if killed I don’t know by what… Not a lot more I can say about this one. 1 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Amazon US

On Demand @ Amazon UK

No comments: