Directed by Gorman Bechard. 82 mins.
Worth my time? Yes. (Part of Secret Sixteen Film Series at Jumpcut Café, Studio City)
First of all, if you live in the Los Angeles area, you must check out Secret Sixteen, a monthly series of rare film screenings at Studio City’s Jumpcut Café. The titles of the films aren’t revealed until the film begins, and it’s completely free. Fuckin’ A.
I had no fucking idea that Disconnected even existed until this evening. I attended a screening of the last 16mm print in existence, and VHS copies are hard to come by. The film has never received a DVD release. Your best chance to see it is to just pirate it online. Go ahead – I sincerely doubt that anyone will care.
I guess that Disconnected would fall under the slasher genre, but it’s so bizarre that it will obliterate any expectations you could ever have. Director Bechard and his cast have no skill when it comes to executing whatever vision they had. But they definitely had some vision apart from wanting to make a quick buck (the selection of films on home-video in the mid-80s was small enough that rental stores would buy pretty much anything). Polanski and Cronenberg are obvious influences, and there are horribly acted conversations about classic film that still go into a surprising level of detail.
My write-ups tend to gloss over plot points as I assume that the reader either hasn’t seen the film (and wants to avoid spoilers) or has seen it (and doesn’t need a rehash of he/she already knows). I think Disconnected is an exception to my rule, because I really want you to seek it out. You’ll enjoy intertwining sublplots such as:
A woman’s identical twin sister (both played by Frances Raines) is sleeping with her sibling’s boyfriend.
A serial killer is on the loose!
The cop investigating the killings may actually be aware that he’s just a character in a low-budget slasher flick (woah…)
The good twin’s telephone keeps receiving evil, fucked up phone calls. And she picks up the phone every single goddamn time.
Accomplished singer-songwriter-producer Jon Brion appears in his film along with the Excerpts, one of his first bands.
Find this movie. See it. Love it. Pick it apart with your friends like you did when you first saw Mulholland Dr. It’s a helluva time.
(Seen and originally written on 2013-04-28)