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Kultur Shock!

USA 2013
produced by
Eric Paul Chapman for Forgotten Path
directed by Todd Osleger
starring Eric Paul Chapman, Maureen O'Malley, Terry McNavage, Jerry Pietrala, David Hundertmark (voice)
written by Eric Paul Chapman, music and sound design by Frank Decker, special effects by Kevin Kukler, Lee Copeland

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Blue (Eric Paul Chapman), an injured American, finds himself locked inside a windowless room with two compatriots, Red (Maureen O'Malley) and White (Terry McNavage). These two are injured as well, and neither of the three have any idea who they are (other than Americans) or how they got here. But Red and White have the advantage over Blue that they have a vague idea what's going on: They need to obey the Uncle Sam doll (voiced by David Hundertmark), placed very prominently in the room, have to do their German lessons, and have to finish a complex jigsaw puzzle. Then they are rewarded with things like bingo night or bedtime stories. Now Blue is not impressed by all of this, and is determined to find out what's going on on one hand, on the other rebel against the system, which seems to be some method of Nazi indoctrination. It's more than hard to persuade White and especially Red to help him in his quest, but eventually their curiosity gets the better of them. That said, all their efforts to uncover clues result in very little, nor do their attempts to escape lead to anywhere, really. And when the reveal finally does happen, it's not what anyone could have dreamed of ...

 

Basically, this is a rather delicious mindfuck of a movie: It's a film that manages to build up its story in a structured way and still leave one guessing throughout, that way really putting the audience into the characters' shoes. And while there are superficial parallels to films like Saw, Kultur Shock! goes much further in creating its own world and neglecting genre conventions (and that's besides ditching the other movie's torture porn approach). Plus, the movie also succeeds in getting maximum output out of (on paper) very modest means, boiled down to just three people in one scarcely furnished room and probably no more than a dozen props - and yet, the story the movie tells is compelling and also other-worldly to a degree. And of course, the cast really manage to pull of their roles to keep the viewer both engaged and entertained.

Totally worth a look, provided you're in for something a little different.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD