Independent cinema is becoming a very strange place. When you consider that movies like Juno are considered ‘indie’, it seems that now, not only are real low budget movies being overlooked, their very genre is being subverted by Hollywood! Well, the real indie filmmakers know who they are, and, I’m sure you’ll agree, if the movie’s budget is over a million dollars, you’re probably not an indie film…or you’ve been raising money for the movie for fifteen years! That’s why; recently, I’ve been drawn more and more to micro-budget movies. These movies don’t have the best effects, or the best acting, but they have something that the new breed of indies don’t…heart.
One of these movies that I’ve just seen recently is Geno McGahee’s Evil Awakening, and, while it’s not the most polished movie I’ve ever seen, it’s got a sense of humor about itself and, at heart, its movie making at it’s finest. The story here revolves around the Cochwoods (pronounced Cock-Woods!), it seems that hundreds of years ago an evil was killed and buried there, and evil that sleeps passively unless someone masturbates in the woods. No, I’m not making this up, and no, I haven’t figured out why someone would head out to the woods to masturbate…but to each his own, as they say. Well, someone has jerked it out in the forest and now the evil has awakened and it’s killing anyone who heads out there. There’s a sub-plot about Sam, Geno’s buddy, who’s a real asshole, a no good slacker, who sponges off his father (played ably by Geno!), runs over an old man and frames his father for the murder. It’s Sam, played by Steve Joseph Adams, who really gives Evil Awakening it’s black heart, Sam is that jerk who you used to hang with in high school, who never grew up, but somehow you never manage to get him out of your life, so you really feel for Geno as his friend becomes a bigger and bigger idiot through the course of the story.
While the special effects aren’t the best, and the acting (in places) is uneven, after all, Geno is playing himself (sort of) and Sam’s father, Evil Awakening is still a pretty good movie and, when you factor in the micro-budget factor, it’s very good. The issues I had were that the image is a bit dark in places, and the sound is uneven in spots, but after viewing the original 1996 short that spawned the feature, I can see that Geno is making huge strides in technique and storytelling. Evil Awakening is micro-budget filmmaking at its best, an interesting story, pretty good acting and it’s just plain fun! I’m giving Evil Awakening three out of four cigars, it’s not perfect, but Geno is working on it, and that’s more than most filmmakers do, hone their craft. If you’d like to get a copy for yourself, you can head over to the X Posse web site to find out how to awaken evil in your very own home! So, until next time, when I’ll be sitting here, still trying to figure out why you’d head to the woods to jerk off, when you’ve got a perfectly good bathroom right there, remember that the best movies are bad movies.