Having just been fired and dumped by his wife, life couldn't possibly be worse for independent artist GORDON HAUGE (Mark Redfield)--until he wrecks his car and finds himself in purgatory ...
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Having just been fired and dumped by his wife, life couldn't possibly be worse for independent artist GORDON HAUGE (Mark Redfield)--until he wrecks his car and finds himself in purgatory that is. Once there, he is attacked by fanatic Shadowmen and legions of Ragmen--souls being enslaved and bent to some dark purpose. Gordon is rescued by an eccentric band of freedom fighters, people from different times of history who lost their lives in noble sacrifice. They recruit the reluctant and befuddled Gordon and set off on a wild adventure through the surreal landscapes of purgatory to battle the Despiser--an evil being who now reigns in this seemingly God-abandoned halfway house north of hell and south of heaven. Dealing with shifting reality, annoying monsters, armies of Ragmen and hair-raising car chases across bridges spanning oceans of lava our heroes battle their way to the dark macabre fortress of the Despiser. Written by
Philip Cook firstname.lastname@example.org
I just rented DESPISER and was quite impressed. First let me put this film in context--it was apparently made for just $35,000. With that in perspective, DESPISER is a remarkable achievement of execution let alone one of sheer imagination. It's a contemporary fantasy--an artist's nightmare whose story follows the exploits of its protagonist in the stylized worlds of purgatory. Mind you "stylized" is the key word here because DESPISER is close kin to the hyper- visual sensibilities of SIN CITY and SKY CAPTAIN IN THE WORLD OF TOMORROW. I.e. blue screen actors placed in computer-generated realms. Yet DESPISER preceded both films by three years. Its effects aren't real so much as imaginative. They suit the film's visual style much in the same way as SIN CITY. The story moves at a brisk pace and the actors do a competent job dealing with their outrageous circumstances of monsters, hordes of the damn and nuclear fireballs. Solid performances from Doug Brown, Gage Sheridan and Mark Redfield enhance this micro budgeted effort.
Is this a film of the same technical caliber as SPY KIDS 3 or SIN CITY? No. But it's not far off particularly considering it was made years earlier. Thematically, however, it's just as effective--even more so, considering you could make over a thousand DESPISER's for the cost of a single SIN CITY. As a fan of dark fantasy, I enjoyed DESPISER very much.
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