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FLYTRAP (2015): Review…It Really Does Make Perfect Sense…

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Flytrap – 2015

I’m having trouble with my Internet service. I can’t access my email and the search engines won’t work. I can access some sites by typing the addresses in the URL bar, but it’s slow and slipshod. It isn’t the computer, as I’ve taken it elsewhere and it works fine on somebody else’s wi-fi, and my service provider assures me there is nothing wrong with the hardware. The Internet company, however, says there is nothing wrong with the signal, so I must be imagining the whole thing.

It’s maddening enough that I’d be pulling my hair out, if I had any.

I mention this for two reasons; I’ve enjoyed success in the past by being all autobiographical in articles I’ve written. I’ve been told it makes me “relatable.” And I mention it because it made the lead character in 2015’s FLYTRAP more relatable to me, as he begins the film having the kind of day I’ve been having for the past week. His problems are of the automotive variety rather than computer-related, but when he exclaims, “Not now! Not now!” and “Great!” when his car breaks down and leaves his stranded in the midst of suburbia, I know exactly how he is feeling. My computer signal cut out three times while I was watching FLYTRAP, and those were my exact words, too—with a few four-letter expletives thrown in. Okay, more than a few. I slogged through, though, and finished the film. Here, then, is my review.

FLYTRAP is good. You should watch it. Bye, now.

What, you wanted more? Fine. A little detail, then. The protagonist’s day takes a turn for the better after his car dies on him, then takes a turn for the worse. Then everything takes a turn for the surreal. There’s a beautiful woman inside the house in front of which James Pond’s car ceases to function (yes, that’s the character’s name, although he frequently is referred to as “Jim” or “Jimmy”) and almost immediately upon his entering with the view towards using her telephone to call for help (his cellphone reception, much like my Internet, is taking a powder at the time), she wants to have sex with him. What would appear to be every man’s dream come true devolves into a nightmare soon enough.

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It seems the lovely lady, Mary Ann by name, along with her friend Gilligan and another guy called the Skipper—are you detecting the theme, here? Well, sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a faithful British guy, newly arrived in the States, whose car breaks down—or was it MADE to break down?—in front of a nondescript house in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Mary Ann, Gilligan, and the Skipper, you see, are aliens. From Venus. Hence the appropriate title of the movie. Oh, I guess I should have announced a SPOILER ALERT before I wrote that. Ah, well. Too late now. But you find out within the first ten minutes of the movie, so it’s not like it’s some big Shyamalan-type twist or anything.

It is incumbent upon lead actor Jeremy Crutchley to be both a convincing Everyman character, ordinary in every way, and yet be possessed of enough muted charisma and likeability to hold the viewer’s empathy throughout the film, which he does — quite nicely, in fact. Lead actress Ina-Alice Kopp has perhaps the tougher job, as she has to let her character’s humanity (in spite of the fact that she’s an alien) slowly seep through the porous surface of her Stepford Wife persona. She has to make the audience, like Jimmy Pond, fall in love with her by the end of the picture. She does — and I  did, and this in spite of what could easily have been an annoying affectation, her robotic line delivery.

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Jimmy and Mary Ann

The veneer cracks, though, in a controlled measure, perfectly timed. The same can be said, on the micro scale, about actor Jonah Blechman as the heavy, Gilligan, whose smarmy blandness gives way to icy menace as his jealousy and species-ism bubbles to the surface. Crediting writer/director Stephen David Brooks’s witty, inventive script and dialogue in addition to the acting, I can pronounce FLYTRAP a most pleasant diversion from my current pain-in-the-ass situation. It is a movie about which I honestly have no complaints; there is nothing about it I wish had been done differently. That’s the highest compliment I can pay to any film.

FLYTRAP is good. You should watch it. Bye, now.

 

FLYTRAP IS AVAILABLE TODAY ON iTUNES, VUDU, AND AMAZON INSTANT

 

 

 

 

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The Cheezman

Big Kahuna at Evil Cheez Productions
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in dramatic works, haunted attractions, etc. He has written, produced and directed over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He is a staff writer for the websites darkness.com, vampires.com, werewolves.com, topcomics.com and zombies.org. Visit him at www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com or facebook.com/evilcheezproductions/. Just make sure you call first, so he can chain up the hellhounds. "Here's ta' swimmin' with bowlegged wimmen!"

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