Many years ago, before the digital cinema revolution allowed any willing film-maker with an extra couple hundred bucks the opportunity to put a DSLR camera in their hands, Francis Ford Coppola predicted that thousands of small independent film-makers would be creating films of their own, well outside the studio system. He proclaimed that these film-makers would represent the next generation of film-making, focusing on small, diverse and intriguing stories filmed in their own backyards. It was a well thought and very prophetic statement that has certainly rang true in this modern era. Unfortunately for every small, diverse and intriguing DIY film produced in those backyards, there are contrived, self indulgent and utter wastes of time like ‘The Movie Extra’.
‘The Movie Extra’ tells the tale of a nebbish by the name of Bob (Chris Martin) who is tired of his life being ruined by Hero Man (Sergio Soltero). Hero Man, a mish-mash of every over-the-top comic book super hero, seems to take great pleasure in ruining Bob’s day while he fights crime, all of this taking place within a fictitious “Movie World” that is not explained at all at the film’s outset. In the worst first act set-up I have had the displeasure of seeing Bob suddenly takes it upon himself to change this world. Bob sets out on a mission to find the writer of the movie he is currently in and stop Hero Man from being such a burden in his life, thusly, the standard movie extra Bob, gets front and centre of his own movie. Art imitating art imitating life, or just nonsense? What transpires from there is 70 minutes of pure cinematic torture as Bob and his sidekick The Guy (Michael Varde) trog their way through every scene trying to track down the movie’s elusive writer.
Abysmal, unfunny sketches are spread throughout the entire film’s runtime as Bob interacts with the “writer’s creation” of what his friends and family might appear to be. Every member of the cast seems to be performing at a nauseating level of over-the-top hamminess, and there is not one redeeming character throughout the entire ensemble. Every single performance and character is a thinly drawn caricature of what every terrible film cast should have, although I fear that this was not intended. Written, directed, photographed and edited by F.C. Rabbath, the film is a prime example that not every person with a fancy camera should be making their own movies. There is no concern of cinema in this mess of a film, it just seems like one big inside joke that unfortunately, only Rabbath is in on. From allowing his actors to seem lost like a deer in the headlights in their scenes, to gratuitously padding the runtime with numerous unnecessarily prolonged slow motion sequences, Rabbath seems to be a captain without an oar. Putting together a feature film at any level is indeed an accomplishment, but unfortunately, I was dearly hoping that ‘The Movie Extra’ would write itself out of existence long before the closing credits started to roll.