Numb (2006) – By Duane L. Martin

 In a futuristic world, much of society has become addicted to a drug called the drip.  Those addicted do nothing but sit around with IV drips in their arms being slowly fed the drug while they zone out all day.  There are people called angels who take care of the addicted.  The angels are people who for whatever reason decided they wanted to live forever and went through a process to gain immortality, even though it meant they would undergo a complete mind wipe and retain nothing of their former selves, having to be re-taught to do even simple tasks.  Once taught these tasks, they do them in a generally mindless fashion.  Basically, immortality without life.  Add into the mix a scientist’s daughter who carries a cure for drip addiction and a guy who’s job seems to be that of some kind of an overseer who has taken injections to prevent him from ever becoming addicted to the drip, and there you have the whole story in a nutshell.

Sounds kinda cool huh?  Well, forget how it sounds.  This is one of the most utterly pointless films you will ever have the misfortune of seeing.  Pointless is only one of the words I would use to describe it.  I would also use words like slow, incoherent, boring, poorly written and mind numbing…which is the only place the title of the film really comes into play.  Now mind you, these words only describe the story.  The film actually does have some merit on a technical level, but I’ll get to that later.

The cover of the DVD has a quote from a Variety review that simply says, "Stunning!"  Now I haven’t read the Variety review, but I would be inclined to believe that the word Stunning was taken out of context and the real sentence, at least in my little world, would say, "It’s stunning how bad this film is!"  That would make more sense.  But why am I being so hard on it?  Those who have read my reviews in the past know that I generally try to be positive about independent films whenever possible, and I usually go out of my way to find the good in them because I know how difficult it is for independent filmmakers to do their thing.  Well that’s usually the case, but when I see a film that’s as big of a train wreck as this one, I just can’t be positive about it.

First off, literally nothing relevant happens until NINETEEN minutes into the movie.  The entire first eighteen minutes could have been cut out and you wouldn’t have missed anything.  Even from nineteen minutes on, the build up of relevant action is slow, and not worth the trip to get there.

Then there’s the flashbacks.  The flashbacks are supposed to give some kind of a back story on the girl scientist and her father.  They take up at least 1/3 or more of the film, almost never have any talking in them, look like old grainy film footage, and have absolutely no bearing on the story whatsoever other than to show us that her and her father created the drip.  Your fast forward button will get a LOT of use during these scenes, believe me.  These scenes are in color as well, while the rest of the film is in black and white, which also seemed pointless.

The story doesn’t make sense at all.  They created the drip to help mankind, and yet all it does is addict people from the first time they get it and turn them into worthless spuds just sitting around waiting for their next IV bag.  How is that helping anyone?  Didn’t they test it before they put it out for human consumption?  How did they ever get FDA approval on it?  Like I said…no sense.

So now that everyone’s addicted, all the scientists and politicians and such have moved to some kind of a colony near Tiburon.  Well the overseer guy Miles, who’s supposed to I guess watch over all the drip addicts but actually does little more than have sex with them and his pet angel, takes the girl to her father back at his mansion in Tiburon.  Well back at his mansion, the whole place is filled with drip addicts and mindless angels, including her father, who’s now an angel.

Once they get inside, Miles drugs her, shoots her up with the drip, and then has sex with her, saying he wants to start humanity over with her.  He walks out, she wakes up, and asks his pet angel for her bag.  Oh wait, I have to mention too that before they had sex, the angel wanted her so Miles had them kiss each other.  It was one of the most passionless lesbian kisses I’ve ever seen.  I was really disappointed.  Anyway, so after she wakes up and gets her bag, she shoots herself up with the cure for the drip addiction.  Miles comes back in the room and she grabs his gun and shoots him.  Then she goes out and shoots her father so he doesn’t have to live like that, and the movie’s over.  Whoopie.

Utterly pathetic.  That’s really the only way I can think to describe this movie.  But that’s on a story level.  I will give it a compliment on a technical level.  The look of the scenes that weren’t pointless flashbacks was really nice.  The black and white footage had nice contrast, great lighting and a generally sweet look to it.  The set design was well done and everything about the look of those parts of the movie was just great.  The editing left a lot to be desired, but the look was great.  The sound was generally decent too, although the dialogue did get overly quiet in spots.

The only thing really left to say is, avoid this movie like the plague unless you have insomnia and need something to put you to sleep, because it’s not good for much of anything other than being a 77 minute sleep aid.  If however you feel like torturing yourself for over an hour, you can find out more about the film on the Heretic Films website at http://hereticfilms.com/indie.