Writer-director-editor-star Evan Glodell’s debut film Bellflower starts in media res. We’re treated, within its first thirty seconds, to a fragmented blend of flipped cars, backwards footage, and slow motion. Then, before what we’ve seen folds back into itself, comes to an end, and the film proper starts, there’s an epigraph: “Lord Humungus cannot be defied.”—Lord Humungus. The significance of this quotation makes itself plain soon enough: Bellflower positions The Road Warrior’s antagonist as the ultimate embodiment of masculinity, an ideal to which best friends Woodrow (Glodell) and Aiden (Tyler Dawson), two Wisconsin natives living in California, desperately aspire even as they know in their heart of hearts that they’ll never match it. This attempt—and subsequent realization of its futility—lasts for the duration of the film. A sort of apocalyptic Bill and Ted, Woodrow and Aiden pass the time blowing things up, building a flamethrower, and modifying cars with add-ons like a whisky dispenser. Exclamations of “dude,” “sweet,” and “awesome” abound in their repartee, often as they work toward making the real world more closely resemble that of their favorite film. But they’re far from “tough guys.” Woodrow and Aiden live in their own bubble, but upon realizing the ever expanding disparity between the world they’ve dreamed up and the one in which they actually live, they know it’s soon to burst. Read the rest of Michael Nordine’s review.
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