Ginger Nuts of Horror
Or: If Ted Bundy made home movies….
From J.M. Stelly director of 'We Knew Him Well' and 'Conjure' (DOWN) comes 'Within Madness', a descent into one man's madness inspired by the real-life video diaries of Ricardo Lopez who is better known as the 'Bjork Stalker'.
In 1996 Lopez had serious mental issues leading to his creation of around 18 hours of home movies in which he chronicled his obsession and his creation of an 'acid bomb' which he sent to the singer's home in London. Believing his work to be done he filmed his own suicide shortly after sending the package.
In 'Within Madness' Matt Story plays 'Donovan Summers', a personal trainer with a similar obsession, albeit for one of his clients 'Brandy' played by Kaci Champion.
J.M. Stelly seeks not only to recreate the depth of insanity present in the Lopez footage but further enhance it by emulating poor quality 16mm film and intersecting it with a variety of nightmarish and often frivolous found-footage images. I watch everything 3 times so I can be sure of what I am seeing and my feelings about it, and it was on that third view that I actually arrived at a sensible conclusion. The first viewing was quite jarring as it's a largely abstract film and so not what most people are used to and it took me a while to filter through some of the images in a 'did I just see what I thought I saw' way. For the most part it's an intriguing film dealing with the banalities of life and eccentricities of obsession and in the second view I saw more into it as I was more prepared for it. There are aspects of it which don't quite seem to gel for me, partly that it is clearly a modern film in a modern setting but being presented in the aforementioned 16mm emulation, the over-reliance on which detracts from what could have been a much better film if the footage wasn't so deliberately messy.
Matt Story does an excellent job as the somewhat charismatic Donovan Summers, his interactions with the camera are for the most part believable and he put me very much in mind of serial killer Ted Bundy in his overall portrayal. The rest of the cast are a little lost in the Gestalt as many of them are from old stock footage, which is a rather economical way to make a movie. Kaci Champion as the object of Donovan's desire has relatively little to do but makes the most of it with vulgarity and nudity.
On the third and final viewing I found that the surreal jump-cuts, 16mm emulation and general vibe of the film gave me the overall impression that if Ted Bundy made home movies whilst channelling the ghost of Luis Buñuel it might look something like this.
Would I watch it again? Probably not, as I have seen it three times already, but for anyone wanting to watch something out of the ordinary you can't really go wrong. Here's a little taster of what to expect:
Within Madness' has a release date of April 7, 2015 and will be available as detailed below on special VERY limited edition Blu-Ray and limited edition DVD at leglesscorpse.com/shop. A digital release of the film is soon to be available on ITunes, Google Play, Amazon, and other popular VOD outlets from Self Destruct Films.
Blu Ray Special Signed and Numbered Limited Edition SRP $24.99
-Cast and crew interviews
-Never before seen original cut 57min.
-Signed and Numbered to 100
DVD Special Limited Edition SRP $13.99
-Cast and Crew interviews
Both editions are available for pre-order at leglesscorpse.com/shop