Tuesday, May 11, 2021

IMThem – review

Director: Antony De Gennaro

Release Date: 2021

Contains spoilers

This is a very strange release that appeared on Amazon and, I suspect, there were pretensions within it of David Lynch as the filmmakers tried to create a murder mystery that was underpinned by the supernatural and strangeness abounding. Unfortunately as I watched it this undermined rather than underpinned.

The vampire theme within it is also buried mostly until the end of the film. However the film starts with the theme, in costume at least…

vampire makeup

The opening sees David (Clayton Ballard), a makeup artist, dressed as the classic vampire as he offers a makeup tutorial (which in reality he is editing, we are seeing the video). Also in shot is his ‘victim’ who screams as he leans in to bite… He is not getting far with his editing and receives a text from his mother (Betty A. Gard) about bringing flowers. Talking to his partner, Thomas (Savanna Nichols), who was the tutorial ‘victim’, he mentions a job doing makeup that night for Stanley (Timothy Vernor) and also talks about his mother’s dementia. The news on TV is on and we hear it suggested that the mayor (Tim Forehand) is progressive.

the mayor

He visits his mother and then goes to the late night/early morning job. The actress he is working with is a prima donna who goes by the moniker Vampire Girl (Donna Scott). He walks home but… We see a pair get out of a car wearing balaclavas, they bundle the mayor out of the boot of the car. Nearby David sees them and drops to the floor. The men inject the mayor, killing him and then spot David. He plays possum but they get him, taking his personal items and then dragging him off. As they fumble around getting into a building, he throws glitter from his pocket into their faces and makes his escape.

Savanna Nichols as Thomas

He is injured and runs downtown (remembering it is the small hours of the morning). Instead of heading straight to the cops he goes in a bar (which can’t afford to ‘pay’ cops, as the manager states). His wounds are dressed by a pair of clowns, or so their costumes suggest, and he borrows a phone to ring Thomas. She answers but then she screams. So again, rather than get the cops he goes home and finds her dying and again, rather than get the cops, he goes on the run and takes a motel room. Soon he is a fugitive on the run with a reward for his capture.

in disguise

So he decides to use disguises. His big fake beard (over his natural one) bizarrely works well, but the dressing in drag seemed counterproductive and in there for weirdness’ sake (or perhaps a blundering attempt at humour). Likewise, contacting his evangelical drunken sister, their argument and her stating that he is guilty because the news says so seemed narratively pointless and more a ham-fisted commentary on a certain US base. He heads to hide out with Stanley but Stanley’s partner (Heather Horrocks) is opposed to it – for his part he becomes paranoid as she is denouncing him on the news (the news anchor is her twin sister). But this paranoia fuels the increasing psychedelia of the narrative.

the vampire

So, vampires? David researches and discovers that a local condo constructing duo (and part time assassins apparently) received their fortune through inheritance and this can be traced to their Great Great Grandfather – who was accused of murdering and draining the blood of ten women. This leads to believing that a supernatural cabal is behind the murder and his woes. Towards the very end of the film he is shown to be right as he is confronted with a vampire – but he isn’t a reliable witness and it could be in his addled head, of course.

Clayton Ballard as David

The trouble is, this couldn’t hold the weird plot together and the film, which is billed as a comedy, is very rarely funny. This isn’t helped by a poor line of dialogue that the cast uniformly struggle to emote. Moments of filler do not help and other moments that seem unnecessary (the killers murdering his defenceless mother, for instance, which added nothing to the plot and wasn’t handled in such a way that added a layer to any of the characters) just slow the film and drag the pace. Clayton Ballard struggled to carry the film but that might have been because he had little to work with.

Its all very sad, as I really wanted to like this going in. I was ready to overlook budgetary issues but the failings aren’t necessarily down to a micro-budget but more down to some fundamental flaws. 2.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Amazon US

On Demand @ Amazon UK


Unknown said...

How did you obtain the images used and how did you watch the film to write this article? The film is only currently available as a rental on Amazon in the UK. As the administrator, I personally know that the film has not yet been rented in the UK.
The film has in fact been pirated. We are currently working with the DMCA to remove hundreds of illegal sites. Did you use a pirated copy to obtain the images and write for this blog?

Taliesin_ttlg said...

When I watched the film on Amazon it was, at that point, available to Prime users - whether this was a glitch in Amazon's system I don't know? I have seen other films jump quickly from prime to pay.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

I'll add, that I check the horror releases on there daily, which is why I know sometimes films appear on Prime ever-so-briefly briefly - as sometimes I watchlist them as Prime come back a day or two later and they've shifted to pay.

You should also be aware that it is available to rent, currently, both at UK and US.