One of my earliest movie reviewing gigs was with the venerable Film Threat, back when it was first getting its feet wet as a web presence and had a unique policy: send us your movie and we will review it. Here’s how it worked from my end: Film Threat honcho Chris Gore sent me a huge box stuffed with VHS tapes (yes, this was before the days of the DVD screener) and I gingerly picked through it, starting with anything that looked remotely promising and working my way down from there. So it was that I bore witness to such undiscovered classics as Cornman: American Vegetable Hero, Les Pantsless Menace, and the immortal Inbred Rednecks.
While vacationing at the Von Doviak ancestral manse on the rockbound coast of Maine, a friend of mine who works for the Maine Public Broadcasting Network showed me an episode of an MPBN-produced show which showcased locally produced films and interviews with the filmmakers. This particular episode featured two guys named Kyle and Efram, and their short film Pennyweight. I enjoyed it, reviewed it and forgot about it until years later, when two guys named Kyle and Efram turned up on the second season of Project Greenlight. Hey, I know those guys! Sort of! Anyway, in my own egotistical way, I felt like I’d discovered Kyle and Efram before Matt and Ben did, so I was a bit bummed out that the series tended to portray them as clueless control freaks. That was the nature of that show, though – the filmmakers always had to come off as goofballs to stoke up the on-set drama.
To make a long story short (too late), Kyle Rankin recently contacted me through my former blog Moonshine Mountain and wask kind enough to say that my review of Pennyweight meant a lot to him in deciding to pursue a career in filmmaking. And I recently managed to get a peep at his latest, Infestation. After all that, it would have sucked if I’d hated it, but as it turns out, I really enjoyed it. Here’s my review.