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The Masterpiece

USA 2001
produced by
Steve Lifshey
directed by Steve Lifshey
starring Mike Doran (narration), Edmund C. Davys, John Gladstein, Nicolette Vajtay, Thomas F. Walsh, Ted Landers, David Sennett, Mary Ann Conk, Steve Lifshey, Nate Lange, Richard De Sina, Candida Royalle, Keith Bearden, Evan Lind, Scott Chalsin, Randy Romang, David Tyson, Steven Remington, Jonathan Lewis, Francesco Da Vinci, Eric Terzo, Conrad Stojak, Robert Burgos, Margaret Harris, Andrew Malenda
written and edited by Steve Lifshey, music by Lance Ong, special effects by Nick Santeramo, Randy Romang


review by
Mike Haberfelner

There are films that are so great that they can only be called a masterpiece - and that's why the fictional film within the film in The Masterpiece is called "The Masterpiece". Now for all intents and purposes this "Masterpiece" seems to be a rather silly film (actually it's snippets from one of director Steve Lifshey's student films gone wrong), a story about a rather silly looking purple alien and people whose limbs grow to grotesque proportions - only all those interviewed in the movie, from the sexuality coach (Candida Royalle) and drama coach (Keith Bearden) to the anatomy consultants (Evan Lind, Scott Chalsin) and extra terrestrial behavioural specialist (Francesco Da Vinci) act as if they really made anything other than a silly piece of drive-in science fiction, while the die-hard fans rave about the movie's "immense subtlety" - and that's really what makes The Masterpiece (the actual movie, not the film within the film) so much fun, the discrepancy of what these people say and what's shown in the film, and this way parodies any number of dishonest making-ofs where even the most mundane aspects of mundane movies are presented as revelations to the audience - and this way then The Masterpiece is much cleverer than its spot-on jokes, as its underlying parody is subtle yet hilarious on its own terms.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD