Soul Searcher (12)
Would You Accept The Apprenticeship?
Imagine, if you will, the cold, crisp night air of Hereford. Now imagine being stuck out in it, freezing your butt off - and working, and to top it all off, you’re driving an embarrassing road sweeper machine, which you manage to smack into a bollard. While this is going on, you see the Grim Reaper do his stuff to a demon and you realise your day is only going from bad to badder. This is how Joe Fallow (Ray Bullock Jnr) is introduced.
What’s even worse is that Joe is falling in love with Heather (Katrina Cooke), whom he can’t even manage to talk to properly, and along with his unsympathic friend, Gary (Chris Hatherall), can’t imagine his situation going further downhill.
Except Joe realises to the contrary when the Grim Reaper Ezekiel (Johnny Lewis) accosts him in the street and he becomes his apprentice (probably not through the Youth Training Scheme).
Elsewhere in town, an evil force threatens to merge the worlds of Hell and Earth into one. And only Joe, assisted by an enigmatic supernatural bounter-hunter, Luca Callista (Lara Greenway), can stop it from happening.
Lara Greenway and her character, Luca Callista bring the film to life. She could be a lead role in her own right. She looks sexy, has a couple of wicked weapons (large guns which make noises as they’re charging up between each shot), dark dreads and cool glasses. And her car - an open top Mustang! A powerful character visually, which is complimented with an almost sarcastic sense of humour, and a casualness that is downright scary.
A mention should go to the makeup (especially version two, or was it version three?) of the bad guys shines through, the texture and depth brings the evilness of the creatures out. The music adds atmosphere to Neil’s framed camera shots and distinct colouring in certain scenes.
Neil Oseman did a cracking job of bringing a full blown film together on a next to nothing budget (£20,000). The tight budget does have repercussions on the film, especially some of the visual effects. There are some (what appear to be) Harry Hausen type effects, and obvious models, which, contrary to a lot of critics, I think look perfect within the essence of the film. It also appears that a lot of critics base their idea of a ‘good’ film on how much CGI is packed in, not on the story or interaction of characters, or what the base effects are actually portraying. It reminded me of the skeletons in Clash Of The Titans, the stop motion animation, and the film itself harks back to that era of film making, while still holding modern attributes.
As a small independent film that is more no-budget than low-budget, the package of extras really provide an unexpected wealth of interest and entertainment. The making of documentary is a really honest and brutal look into what it takes to get such a project moving, and the film (and it’s inevitable limitations) really do benefit from such insight into the making of process. I’m suprised Oseman had any hair left, or sanity: watching the extras made me cringe in parts seeing what he, the crew and the actors went through; from nearly running out of money and special effects models not working, to their schedule going all kaput and cameras freezing solid.
It’s a classy film, with an almost typical dungeons and dragons storyline, a bunch of everyday people banding together to fight the forces of evil, with an extra helping of things which make a film enjoyable (including one scene that might bring a tear to your eye).
I’ll quote directly from someone else by saying, “If you can’t see past the flaws to see what’s been achieved then clearly low budget movies aren’t for you.”
Official Soul Searcher Site.
WYSIWYG Film Distribution And Production.
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