THE LAST SHOWING is one movie I knew nothing about, stumbled upon it while shopping and decided to pick it up because Robert Englund stars in it. After-all I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this if it wasn’t for Robert’s portrayal of Freddy in A Nightmare On Elm Street.
This film was shockingly good. Like Pieces Of Talent (not comparing the two, Pieces Of Talent is a whole different beast), THE LAST SHOWING not only entertained me with it’s great, thought out, intelligent story, but writer/director Phil Hawkins also dazzled me with some great visuals and amazing camera work!
Stuart, played by Englund, is an aging projectionist that gets the boot after over two decades of running the projectors. He gets demoted to the concession stand serving assholes popcorn, and cleaning up used condoms off the theater floor, all the while being belittled by the early twenty-something manager. Well, Stuart has a plan to be hands-on with film again by making a real life horror movie featuring a couple who come to see a midnight showing of The Hills Have Eyes 2.
Stuart manipulates the actions of Martin by drugging and kidnapping his girlfriend. Stuart weaves a story all his own using the theaters escalators, TV screens, projector, CCTV, and the facility sound system. He captures the action unfolding with a handheld camcorder and by utilizing the theaters CCTV system, even going as far as editing sound into the footage. Will Stuart’s film go as planned, casting him as the hero of the film, or will his devious, playful scheme unravel?
This story is very innovative and thought provoking. It must have been fun for Hawkins to write this story, as well as it being a daunting task in making it work so well without it becoming to far-fetched.
Hawkins utilized the huge main lobby well, creating over the head crane shots and great lighting effects to propel us into Martin’s despair and dread. The theater in itself becomes one of the characters; this was only achieved by the camera setups and lighting, bringing the theater to life and actually helping Stuart by interacting with Martin.
Englund’s performance is amazing. It’s his best work since Phantom Of The Opera. He really makes us feel for Stuart, and makes the audience root for him, as I certainly was, and I believe that’s what Hawkins intentions were all along. There’s something about seeing Robert in this role that really brought me back and made me appreciate him as an actor, not just Freddy, or the cameo in another horror flick. Robert is a very talented actor, and any fan of his needs to see this film. It will make you forget about the icon that is Freddy and make you remember the icon that is Robert.
This is a must see little horror film. There is nothing independent about it. It looks like a 15 million dollar budgeted movie, very well made, superbly acted, and superbly written and directed. Catch this one NOW before the DVD is one that is hard to find!
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