I am velvety-smoothReview is BELOWI am veltely smooth, too
DVD: People From Space (1999)
Review Rating:   Good  
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1 (NTSC)

April 15, 2003



Genre: Science-Fiction Spoof / Mockumentary  
In the spirit (or satire) of the "Blair Witch Project," two couples head into the wilderness in search of a crashed U.F.O. as a weekend outing.



Directed by:

Marc Berlin
Screenplay by: Marc Berlin
Music by:  
Produced by: Marc Berlin

Spring Hill,  Cynthia Klayman,  Stephen Sheffield,  Marc Berlin,  Brownie MacIntosh,  Daniel Michael

Film Length: 98 mins
Process/Ratio: 1.66 :1
Anamorphic DVD: Yes
Languages:   English (Stereo)
Special Features :  

Audio Commentary by Director/Writer/Producer/Actor Marc Berlin and Actress Cindy Klayman / Photo Gallery with 28 images

Comments :

Inspired by an idea from Dean Gold, independent filmmaker Marc Berlin crafted a 10-page outline for a handful of improv-based actors, and shot this satire of "Blair Witch Project" with 'Guffmanesque' sensibilities.

Essentially the tale of four suburban morons who trek into the woods in search of aliens and $100,000 reward, Berlin, a non-actor, plays the team's dorky leader, Bob, and shot the film with a capable skeleton crew over a weekend in 3 & 1/2 days, on a miniscule budget of $7,000.

While not high-end video, the visuals are very well composed and edited, boosted by some appropriate chroma-enhancement, and an excellent sound mix, which blends effects, dialogue, and recognizable music for a few hysterical, filmic in-jokes.

The film's absurd tone is also present in the audio commentary track, with Berlin and co-star Cindy Klayman. Being a simplified production - after being kicked out of a state park, Berlin's own verdant backyard became Location B - there's a limited amount of production details for discussion, and much of the track consists of lengthy self-mockery between commentators and their onscreen characters, with some minor mention of Berlin's conflict with co-star Stephen Sheffield.

"People From Space" is far more satisfying than M. Night Shyamalan's pretentious alien film "Signs," and Elite's nicely designed disc also includes a gallery of production stills. More info on Berlin would have shed additional light on the film's creator - something all low-budget and audacious productions should include in their DVD releases - but viewers will be pleasantly surprised by the film's polished look, and the deadpan performances that make these idiots all the more believable, and funny.


© 2003 Mark R. Hasan

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