Sunday, December 22, 2013

DVD Review: VIC (2006)

VIC (2006)
Label: Grindhouse Releasing
Region Code: ALL
Duration: 32 Minutes 
Rating: Unrated
Video: 16:9 Widescreen (1.85:1) 
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Director: Sage Stallone
Cast: Clu Gulager, Tom Gulager, Carol Lynley, Gregory Sierra, John Phillip Law, Gary Frank, John Lazar

Tagline: Hollywood's Forgotten Vic Reeves ...You Never Will

Vic Reeves (Clu Gulager, The Invitation) is a faded movie star, once an award winning actor popular in TV westerns now in hs seventies and well past his prime. He just barely scrapes out a career with bit parts on low budget horror productions, paying for groceries at the corner store with rolls of pennies - it's a tough life. 

When he receives a phone call young upcoming filmmaker Tony LaSalle (Tom Gulager) it appears that a comeback might loom on the horizon if he can just land the role. Clu Gulager completely inhabits the character of Vic Reeves, the desperation and anxiety that he pours into it is affecting, it feels authentic. 

When he arrives for the audition he shows up having gone to lengths to appear younger (dye job, make-up and mascara) and launches into his prepared line readings, the scripted dialogue dredges-up the frustrations within the faded star and the resulting reading is powerful and dark.

I loved this short, the direction is confident and Gulager gives a touching and desperate performance with a lot of depth. the parallels between art and reality were certainly not lost on the actor who was perfectly cast for the role. When it was finished I wanted more of Vic Reeves. Sage Stallone showed some serious chops as a young filmmaker and you walk-away wondering what might have been had he pursued other directing projects.

DVD: Vic arrives on DVD from Grindhouse Releasing on DVD in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) and it looks great with a solid transfer with some minor depth to the image. The Dolby digital 2.0 Stereo audio is clean and the Franco Micalizzi (Beyond the Door) score sounds fine, there's also the option of French, Spanish or Italian subtitles. . 

The extras include an interview with Clu recorded in 2008 moderated by Sage Stallone. The star reflects on his career and how the short paralleled his own career as an actor Hollywood past his prime. The film is a Gulager family project of sorts featuring his two sons and late wife Carolyn Lynley in her last role, son John handled the cinematography chores and would later the same year make a name for himself with the gore-comedy Feast (2006).

The disc also includes text biographies for the entire cast and a highlight reel of Vic's career which is actually Clu Gulager highlight reel with loads of vintage black and white TV westerns culminating with his 80's slasher entries and the classic Return of the Living Dead (1986) 

Special Features:
- Cast and Crew Biographies
- Interview with Clu Gulager (14:30
- Vic's Montage (2:17) 

Verdict: Vic (2006) is a touching testament to Sage's love of 70's exploitation cinema and the character actors who inhabited them, a confident first film with a lot of depth. Clu Gulager as the faded star gives one of his finest performances, it might be just a short film, but there's little doubt that this is something special, capturing something very real on film. 3.5 Outta 5