Le Fear (2011) – By Duane L. Martin

Carlos Revalos (Kyri Saphris) has made 21 films in his career as a film maker, and he’s looking for a huge hit with #22, an avant garde horror, love story called "Le Fear" with a three million pound budget. Unfortunately, things didn’t really turn out as expected.

First off, Carlos hires about the worst, most inept crew imaginable. Then he proceeds to cast the film with a pompous actor named Leon who has a penchant for getting upset and walking off the set (with good reason I might add), a former adult film actress named Debbie D (Lucinda Rhodes-Flaherty) who can’t really act, Jim the Werewolf (Dave Wiltshire) who’s basically just a guy in an overcoat with a cheesy werewolf mask and gloves that he apparently wears all the time on or off the set. Oh by the way, he can’t speak a word of English. Lastly, we have Dave the Vampire (Paul Knight), who’s about as scary and threatening as a clown at a petting zoo.

As for the crew, first we have Harry the Sparky (Patrick Naughton) who’s supposed to handle the electrical work and effects, yet does nothing but break stuff, which he then takes forever to fix. Then there’s the make-up girl, Gabby Le Fluer (Ilona Saic), who does nothing but talk endlessly. She has virtually no experience doing make-up for films, yet she thinks she’s absolutely brilliant at what she does. Then there’s Dave the Clapper, who came with his own clapper and has hair like…well, remember that epidode of I Love Lucy where Lucky had her baby and Ricky was in the voodoo witch doctor make up at the hospital? Remember that wig he had on? That’s what Dave the Clapper’s hair looked like. Dave seems to be about three I.Q. points away from being able to tie his shoes as well, but at least he can work a clapper. Then there’s the assistant director who has very limited experience, but seems to be about the only semi-competent member of the crew, a boom operator who keeps causing interruptions, and a cameraman who had his own HD camera, which he offered to use, but got stuck using a crappy old film camera that keeps breaking down instead.

This film is obviously a mockumentary, and as such, you expect it to be filled with bizarre characters with all sorts of crazy things going on, and that’s exactly what you get with this film. While it can seem a bit slow at times (as is the case with most mockumentaries), enough strangeness and fun stuff keep happening to keep the viewer involved and interested in what’s going on. The characters are really what make this film though. Each of them has their own niche in the story, their own personalites and their own issues. They all fit together like a puzzle in a crazy story that, while it will probably be extra amusing to film makers, can be enjoyed by virtually anyone.

While the acting and the story (with one small exception) were great, and the whole cast really took their characters and ran with them, I do have a few small complaints about the production quality of the film. These are small complaints, and for the most part did not present any major issues with the film.

First, the visual quality of it was rather lacking. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t what it could have been for a film and story at this level.

Second, the sound wasn’t always the best, so at various times, it was kind of hard to catch what was being said. This wasn’t enough of a problem that you couldn’t follow what was going on, but combined with the third problem, it could get a bit iffy at times. This is an issue with many mockumentary type films though, so I’m not overly concerned about this one.

The third problem was the accents. For people in the UK who are used to hearing the various accents from around the country, this wouldn’t be so much of an issue, and as most people are generally good with understanding accents, I think it wouldn’t be an issue in general, except for the fact that when you combine that with the occasional sound issues and some quieter line delivery at certain spots in the film, this can become a problem, and one that could easily be solved by adding optional subtitles to the release so that all of the dialogue can easily be picked up by viewer, allowing the whole story to come across with little to no problem.

The one small issue I had with this otherwise great story, is that it felt like it ended really abruptly. I would have liked to have seen it trail off a bit, maybe with some of the cast and crew of they film they had attempted to make commenting on the production and those involved…or at least something like that. The way it ended was ok, but it could have been more fun if there were a bit of "aftermath" to it.

All in all though, Le Fear is creative and really quite fun. Don’t let the issues I mentioned above put you off of seeing it, because none of them amounts to being a killer. I’ve always really enjoyed mockumentaries, and this one is chock full of great characters, silly situations and is very entertaining in spite of any production issues it may have. It’s definitely worth checking out.

The film itself comes in at 62 minutes, and includes the following special features, which come in at around 22 minutes.

Special features:

Carlos and the Werewolf at the World Premiere
Le Fear – Unseen Footage
An interview with Le Fear director, Jason Croot.film by Director Jason Croot.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out the film’s website at http://www.lefear.com.