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Written by Richard Taylor   
Sunday, 20 November 2016
Review of Plank Face from Bandit Motion Pictures on Severed Cinema

Directed by: Scott Schirmer
Written by: Brian Williams, Scott Schrimer
Produced by: Brian Williams, Scott Schrimer
Cinematography by: Brian Williams
Editing by: Brian Williams
Special Effects by: David Pruett
Music by: Adam Robl, Shawn Sutta
Cast: Nathan Barrett, Susan M. Martin, Brigid Macaulay, Alyss Winkler, Jason Hignite, Ellie Church, Dave Parker.
Year: 2016
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 31min

Studio: Bandit Motion Pictures

Where to start with this one, oh boy! Following on the foot heels of Harvest Lake (review here), the team of Scott Schrimer and Brian Williams deliver another positive blow to the diatribe of originality. I was on the fence with Harvest Lake because it just seemed to stand still and never go anywhere. It was heavy on sexual freedom and symbolism but light on story and developed characters. This being said, Harvest Lake was a ballsy film -- it was a fuck you I'm making what I want to make, and fuck following any formulas or pacing or traditional linear story structure. For these reasons alone, I commend Scott Schrimer for making the films he wants to make.

Much like
Harvest Lake, Plank Face was funded by fans with the ever popular IndieGoGo campaigns in which a lot of indie films are relying on these days to get made. There are positive and negative aspects to going this route, and I'm familiar with indie or underground filmmakers who would rather stick to their own resources, rather than ask the public to fund their projects, even if it means sacrificing, and budgetary restraints. To each their own. With fundraising, at least you know if you meet your goal that fans want to see your work come to life, so there are positive aspects as well.

Plank Face is a different beast of a film, and to be honest, itís going to be something people either love or hate, but in my case, I find some even ground between the two, once I take stock in what I've just watched. The storyline follows a young couple Max (Nathan Barrett) and girlfriend Stacey (Ellie Church) on a camping trip in the woods when they are attacked by a stranger. Barrett is put out of action momentarily, but comes to and takes revenge only to encounter a bizarre family of feral backwoods individuals who incapacitate and abduct him.

Once Max is conscious, he is subsequently initiated, and tormented to become one with the family, but the strangest part is how he so quickly abandons his past life to become this primitive being. I'm sure there is some deeper meaning within the film, but my only answer to the matter involves a conversation Max had with Stacey earlier in the film. In this scene in particular they were preparing lunch, and Max exclaims his acceptance of only eating beans and weenies, and being happy doing so because itís his choice and he's not being forced to eat it.

Max is tortured by these bizarre individuals but soon becomes their leader, and he himself starts to kill and cannibalize with ease. It seems as if Max was chosen by the family to replace their "Old Daddy" played by Jason Hignite. Eventually, Max dons the signature movie title face mask, is having consensual inbred sex and eating the genitalia of men passersby in the forest. When he eventually encounters his girlfriend again, things don't go exactly as planned.

Plank Face, like Harvest Lake, takes a long time getting to where itís going. I loved the film score by Brian Williams. It really gave me the "feels" while watching and elevated the experience. The cinematography by Williams was also high quality and engaging to the retinas. Special mention to Ellie Church for the great costume design which was highly effective. The feral family in Plank Face also seemed to be speaking their own language, which was a unique idea as well. Occasionally they would say something clear in English but for the most part their dialogue was incomprehensible.

Read all the reviews, and decided for yourself if you want to pick up
Plank Face or not. If youíre familiar with Harvest Lake, and enjoyed it, I can see you digging this one as well. Plank Face is a different movie experience -- something which Bandit Motion Pictures seem to pride themselves in.







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