Thursday, April 2, 2015

MEMORY LANE (2013)

MEMORY LANE (2013) 

Label: Wild Eye Releasing
Region Code: 0 NTSC
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 70 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 
Director: Shawn Holmes 
Cast: Michael Guy Allen, Meg Barrick, Julian Curi, Zac Snyder

Memory Lane is a damn decent indie science-fiction thriller about a war vet named Nick (Michael Guy Allen) who returns home from the war damaged by post traumatic stress disorder and anguished over things that he did while serving his country. The transition to civilian life has not been east but he's trying to cope, one night while out for a run he happens upon a young woman named Kayla (Meg Barrick) who seems poised to jump off a bridge, until Nick intervenes pulling her away from the edge.

Kayla is crazy-eyed cutie and damaged in her own way, she's exactly the kind of girl that would fuck you in the backseat of your car right before stealing vehicle the night after she nearly jumps off a bridge. It's a strange way to meet each other but these two find a strange happiness with each other, and a whirlwind romance ensues. Things seem to be great for the two love birds but on the day Nick plans to propose he finds Kayla dead in the bathtub, having slashed her own wrists. 

Wracked with grief and beyond consoling Nick attempts to end hos own life by electrocuting himself in the bathtub, but he is discovered and resuscitated after his friends find his lifeless body. Afterward he tells them he saw Kayla during his suicide attempt, in the afterlife, during which she said something specific that makes him believe that she was murdered. In an effort to mimic the circumstances that enabled him to see Kayla during the suicide attempt he and a friends create a low-tech device from electric wiring, a series of light bulbs, and a bathtub full of ice water, designed to stop his heart so he can return to the afterlife in an attempt to discover the truth behind her death by exploring his memories in great detail, after a certain length of time his friends to resuscitate him, and each time bringing him closer to true death.

Are these trips into the afterlife merely dying brain activity or is it something more supernatural, that's the question I kept asking myself. Nick is certainly a troubled man who briefly bonded with a kindred troubled spirit who seemed to have felt the same way for him until her death. He's a haunted man and willing to sacrifice his own life to discover the truth. Each time he crosses over into the afterlife he returns with yet another piece to the puzzle, one step closer to solving the riddle of Kayla's death.

Memory Lane was a decent watch, at just over seventy-minutes it doesn't linger long enough to wear out it's welcome, which is good because while the premise is promising the no-budget production can be a bit anemic at times.  I do applaud the filmmakers for what they were able to manage with very little money, just under $300. I would have loved to see this story fleshed out just a bit more with a heightened science-fiction or supernatural element, but there's only so much you can do on a few hundred bucks, but the intent of the director is there on screen, just not fully formed. Some spotty acting does mar the production but it's worth mentioning what an attractive low-budget production this is, benefiting from some decent framing, giving it a lo-fi arthouse vibe. Looking forward to what comes next from director Shawn Holmes, the lacklustre ending and the novice cast does not completely negate the compelling story and true indie spirit of the movie, this is a pretty cool calling card. 

Special Features:
- Director's Commentary
- Deleted Scenes ( 4 Mins) 
- Short Films (6 Mins) 
- Promotional Videos (9 Mins) 
- Screen Tests (3 Mins) 
- Wild Eye Trailers (7 Mins) 

Not a broad recommend but if you enjoy indie films with interesting ideas there's something to enjoy here, for the masses looking for something more polished this is gonna be a hard sell from the start, but if you're looking for something new and under the radar you could do a lot worse. 


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