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Overall Rating
3.86

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look85.71%
Average: 14.29%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 1 rating


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Editor, The
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by Jay Seaver

"Cuts together comedy and giallo fairly well."
4 stars

SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 17: During the post-film Q&A, the director jokingly (I think) suggested it was better to make straight horror films rather than horror-comedies like "The Editor", if only for the relative difficulty in securing distribution. That's not quite the reaction I've had to it and the other movies I've seen by Canadian filmmaking team Astron-6, but I have wondered what they would accomplish if they stopped making spoofs. They clearly know what made these movies work, and they might make the leap from impressive to great, even if they tweak cult movies with love rather than malice.

The genre in this case is giallo, with much of the action actually taking place on the set of one of of those lurid Italian thrillers. Someone is killing the cast, with the latest discovery leaving lead actress Margarit (Sheila Campbell) with hysterical blindness, which has her husband, Inspector Peter Porfiry (Matthew Kennedy), freaked out. Suspicion naturally falling upon editor Rey Ciso (Adam Brooks), as the fingers of the corpses are severed, just like the ones he lost trying to cut a film that put him in a mental hospital; he is also torn between sweet assistant editor Bella (Samantha Hill) and his shrewish, former scream-queen wife Josephine (Paz de la Huerta). There's also co-star Cal Konitz (Conor Sweeney), who sees a chance for his role to be beefed up.

That's not a bad mystery if directors Adam Brooks & Matthew Kennedy (and co-writer Conor Sweeney) were to play it straight, but that's clearly not the case. You can expect a lot of broad Italian accents, sometimes not quite synced with the soundtrack, and some odd turns of phrase. The frequently gratuitous nudity, violence, and other crassness is given the slight extra push it needs to be absurd, and while it's often funny, it's a rather targeted humor. A running gag or two are kind of repulsive out of context, and while the group by and large does a decent job of using the genre's tropes to give their weird characters things to do, there are certainly moments when what they are doing is far less satire than mimicry.

They are gifted mimics, at least, and for the first time they are working with the sort of modest budget that let's them build some sizable sets and fill every corner. The movie looks and sounds great, authentically shabby in some ways but detailed and thought out a as opposed to just throwing what 1970s & 1980s props that they could find around. The soundtrack is just as good as the visuals, and when the time comes for the movie to get trippy, the team potshots themselves, creating surreal world's and intrusions that impress whether one knows the budget or the sources of inspiration. One of the things that impressed me about their previous feature Manborg was that where many people making this sort of movie just home in on the things that can be exaggerated for a laugh, these guys spot the elements that, while seeming dated or ripe for parody, can still work when someone commits to them ironically, and there are enough examples of that in the last act to make The Editor genuinely exciting, both in term of suspense and seeing talented people do nifty things.

Many of the same people are both begins and in front of the camera, and they can at least be said to be working to their comedic strengths. Kennedy may have the best part as Porfiry, as he gets to be kind of dumb and ridiculous outside of any responsibility for making the mystery believable, and he does not hold back with it. Brooks does a fair job of not being over-matched when needing to be both legitimately and parodically melodramatic, while Sweeney gets a fair number of laughs despite not having the goody facial hair to help him be funny just standing there. The ladies aren't quite so well-served - Samantha Hill's Bella is ready to like and Paz de la Huerta's Jasmine easy to hate, with Sheila Campbell and the rest more typically getting lost in between. Udo Kier shows up to play the Udo Kier role, and he's pretty good at that.

Everyone involved is pretty good at what they are doing, and though none of it is easy, there is the occasional sense that the filmmakers are using familiarity as a crutch rather than a starting point. They have made a good movie, one that those familiar with its inspirations should especially enjoy, and that's something that can't be said about many who try this sort of joking homage.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=27708&reviewer=371
originally posted: 03/31/15 13:55:43
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2008 San Francisco International Film Festival For more in the 2008 San Francisco International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2014 Toronto International Film Festival For more in the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2014 Fantastic Fest For more in the 2014 Fantastic Fest series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2014 Chicago International Film Festival For more in the 2014 Chicago International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2014 Vancouver Film Festival For more in the 2014 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2015 Boston Underground Film Festival For more in the 2015 Boston Underground Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2015 Fantasia International Film Festival For more in the 2015 Fantasia International Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/12/16 mr.mike Many laughs, but wears out it's welcome towards the end. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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