Tuesday, May 24, 2011
It's been several years since I have seen what would appear a provocative and interesting story idea made into a movie as insufficiently imagined and over-the-top misguided as THE ABDUCTION OF ZACK BUTTERFIELD, which was co-written by its director Rick Lancaster (shown below) and Stephen M. Ryder. The latter is credited as a co-writer of L.I.E., though this current work ought to make us even more grateful for the contributions of Michael Cuesta, as director and co-writer of that earlier and groundbreaking film.
Brett Helsham (shown below). April, a veteran of our current wartime follies in both Afghanistan and Iraq, is one terrifically troubled young woman who has some major problems with men. And so she has decided to kidnap a teenage boy, hold him captive and slowly turn him into the man of her dreams. Makes sense, right?
TJ Plunkett, below, except that he is in high school. Wearing one expression throughout the film, and sounding exactly the same whether he is simply having a conversation with his captor or trying to "put one over" on her, he runs the gamut of emotions from A to, well, A.
Walter Masterson, below) comes off needlessly confusing: Is this guy a little slow, or was he simply directed to act unduly goofy?
Lisa Gunn (above, right) and Aaron Letrick (left). But other than the glossy, infomercial-level cinematography (by Aric Jacobson), this is amateur night at the movies -- so bad that it becomes that much-sought-after but rarely discovered joy: unintentional camp.
Quad Cinema and in Los Angeles at Laemmle's Sunset 5. Go, I say, and giggle away!