Fantasia Festival 2016 Review: Man Underground

Fantasia Festival Screened Sam Marine And Michael Borowiec’s Directorial Début , Man Underground

Man underground tells the story of Willem, a conspiracy theorist who travels around small towns giving lectures to anyone who will listen to them.

Willem used to be a geologist for the United States government. When working, Willem stumbled on Alien life, and proof that the government have imprisoned, and are lying to everyone about extra-terrestrial existence.

His followers are in decline, and his audiences at the lectures are almost non-existent. Willem comes up with an idea that he thinks will grab people’s attention. Willem and his only friend , Todd (Andy Rocco ) decide to make a low-budget movie about his past alien encounter. They hire beautiful waitresses, and aspiring actressFlossi (Pamela Fila ) who completes our trio of lovable characters.

manundergroundOur lead is superb (played by George Basil ). Even though the film does lack alien activity, the script and acting are enough to keep you glued o the screen .

You really want to know where it’s going, and how it’s going to get there . You get lost in this home-made movie within the movie. You really want to see the finished product to see Willem’s version of what happened – no matter how silly the props look.

Our lead says every word with a real awkwardness and intensity. The viewer can’t help but believe Willem’s story.  He tells it as if he was re-living that exact moment, at that exact time. Yes, he does sound crazy, everyone around him thinks that his stories are “out there” but with his seriousness and confidence, you can’t help but get drawn in

There is one scene where Willem (awkwardly ) arrives at a dinner party hosted by Flossi’s (bit of a prick) boyfriend . Flossi wasn’t expecting him to show up she knew that her boyfriend would make fun of him. When Willem asks Flossi what should he bring to the party , she tells him nothing. When Willem arrives he notices that all the other guests have brought a gift, this ain’t good. As the party gets going, Flossi’s boyfriend persuades Willem to tell his story about his alien encounter. He tells the story with such intensity, explaining every detail –  it’s hard for us not believe him. I found myself completely captivated by what he was saying.

Our costars also do a great job. Each character couldn’t be more different but they all work perfectly togetherWillem, the awkwardly intense ex-geologist plagued by memories of his alien encounterThen we have Flossi, full of life, bubbly waitress that recently had to move back into her parent’s house. Then Todd, a lovable guy that suffers from depression. There is some heartfelt moments that touch on his isolation.

The script is great, it’s definitely more of a drama than anything else with a science-fiction theme. If you’re fan of great independent cinema then I think this is a must.  

OVERALL

A great movie, well writtensimple, and intriguing. If you’re looking mind-blowing special FX, spaceships, alien probing, you won’t get that in Man Underground. You will get a fine example of indie filmmaking. A character-driven story that proves you don’t need the impressive FX to win your audience.

The first feature from duo, Sam Marine and Michael Borowiec. We look forward to hearing about new projects from these guys.

 

6.5/10

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