The Voice Inside

Biff Juggernaught productions presents The Voice Inside, a black and white short film for fans of the slightly more extreme. The Voice Inside is a kinetic short following one characters battle with and final decent into madness. The film opens with an unnamed man sat on a subway train, at first all seems normal, but soon we learn just why the film is called The Voice Inside.

The main and only role is played by Elias who you can see in a very different role as the hapless reporter in LovecraCked! The Movie. This is a good turn from Elias as well, as we see him tormented by an inner voice. He at first tries to suppress it with medication, but is told it is now to strong to be held at bay. After returning home from the subway, he again tries his medication, but only finds himself vomiting heavily. Next he goes for blunt force trauma as a means to fight the voice in his head. Head butting walls and pushing himself with the Iron rings from the stove. He manages to smash his face up pretty good, but the inner voice will not be silenced. Finally he is defeated and now the voice has its turn at desecrating the leads body, which means we are treated to a very nasty use of a hammer.

The Voice Inside is an impressive short film that will have many drawing comparisons to Darren Aronofsky' PI and Shinya Tsukamoto's Tetsuo, all be it not reaching the heights either of those full length outings achieve. The medium it was shot on does mean the picture is not the best, but in many way's it suits the films content. The Biff Juggernaught team manage to mix shock value with real skills, understanding that shock on it's own is in no way enough. The effects, both practical and camera trickery are fairly low level and not overdone, but are used to full effect. Normally I am not a huge fan of "shaky cam", but here the camera work is suited to the subject matter and defiantly adds to the quality of the short.

The Voice Inside is a short well worth watching, but be warned, its graphic nature is maybe suited only to those more used to extreme film. 

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Biff Juggernauts "The Voice Inside" is available as an extra on the LovecraCked! The Movie DVD

Watch It (WARNING not suitable for minors): the voice inside (windows media) | the voice inside (quicktime) | YouTube |

The Exterminator

John Eastman (Robert Ginty) is a Vietnam Vet (aren’t all the best revenge movie / vigilante hero’s?) and when his best friend, Michael Jefferson (Steve James,) who saved his life out in The 'Nam is attacked and left paralysed by a gang of vicious street punks, Eastman decides to even the score.

The film starts off with its heroes fighting the Vietcong in the Vietnam war. After a vicious gun battle, Eastman, Jefferson and another comrade are captured and taken for interrogation. During the interrogation the 3rd comrade has his head hacked off in a surprisingly gory film moment, Eastman is next up for the chop, luckily Jefferson gets the drop on his guards and takes them down, machine gun blazing.

Back in New York, Eastman and Jefferson are honest Joe’s making a living from blue-collar factory jobs. An encounter with some thieves at the factory sets off a chain of events which lead to the birth of The Exterminator. Having put a stop to a robbery at work Jefferson is jumped by members of the same gang (The Ghetto Ghouls). Vastly outnumbered he is beaten badly and is left paralyzed. Eastman decides there is only one thing to do. This is the guy that kept his head on his shoulders back in the 'nam lying crippled in bed. So he picks up his M16 and goes in search of the perpetrators. Finding the punks in a flat, they seem to find it a little difficult to figure out what his problem is, saying Jefferson was "Only a nigger" to which Eastman replies "that nigger was my best friend". After dispatching the gang members Eastman still plagued by the memory of the beheading he witnessed back in Vietnam, decides to continue in his role as the vigilante The Exterminator. Taking out all kinds of other criminal trash, including a Mob Boss and Pimp who specializes in supplying young boys to rich male clients.

The Exterminator, which has the great tagline “The man they pushed too far”, is a great example of the Vigilante / revenge movie genre which was particularly popular in the late 70’s and early 80’s, dishing out classic action, gunplay and car chases. Jake Eastman just looks like a normal guy, which makes the film so much better than having a muscle-bound freak in the lead role. Robert Ginty gives a very understated performance in the lead role; he doesn’t exude any kind of charisma, crack cheesy one liners or even particularly fly into any kind of rage. He is, as he states at one point, “taking care of business,” and he deals with his foes just like a garbage man taking out the trash. Christopher George is top notch as the hard-bitten cop on the trail of The Exterminator and all the cast fit the feel of the film nicely. The rubbish strewn, impoverished streets of New York's 80’s underbelly are a fantastic backdrop for the action; these are the streets no-one cares about, these are the streets that could really breed “The Exterminator”.

If you like, The Warriors, Death Wish, Dirty Harry, The Gauntlet, and films of that type you should find The Exterminator a very enjoyable experience. This may not be mainstream action stuff, but its classic cult movie revenge fun.

The Man Who Wasn't There

Billy Bob Thornton stars as the barber in a spot of bother in Joel and Ethan Coen’s tale of Very Bad Things.

According to Billy Bob Thornton, he accepted the role of Ed Crane (The Barber) purely on the information that it is a film "about a barber who wants to be in the dry cleaning business." And things certainly seem mundane enough to begin with for this amiable yet incredibly laconic barber with a strangely emotionless marriage and some gently harboured ambitions above his station. Unfortunately for Crane, though, he has been dreamt up as a figure by the Coen’s for this wonderfully all-American neo-noir homage, so some serious dramatic turns on the darker side are to be expected.
One of the greatest aspects to a Coen Brothers’ film is the view through their eyes, their slightly off-key representation of the world we live in, and The Man Who Wasn’t There has this, and other recognisable Coen qualities, to varying degrees. Though there is still the humour intact, this is a much more somber affair than we have come to expect from this talented duo that have a keen eye and heart for a retrospective era.
Coen stalwart, Roger Deakins provides the stunning black and white cinematography that captures the noir shadows to picture-perfection and coupled with Joel Coen’s guarded direction make for some very beautiful composition. Though it isn’t just the look of the film that makes it a success both in its own right and as the more difficult thing of a noir-inspired homage, it’s Joel and Ethan’s co-written story that complements the visuals, too. The Coen’s are great storytellers and The Man Who Wasn’t There is no exception to this rule; the complex plot and customarily superb dialogue has some wonderfully nostalgic inclusions that also tie in nicely with the noir feel. With a subtly detectable air of social unrest that comes from a time of change, the Coen’s find some affectionate means to bring these to the story. Where the typically noir-ish plot takes in some subdued but simmering sexual feeling and murderous intentions (and some non-intentions) there are some gentler Coen idiosyncrasies that capture the innocence of the era; the bizarre otherworldly idea, the incredible but sweetly dubious idea of dry cleaning, and even some philosophy courtesy of the super-talky and cash-driven lawyer, Freddy Riedenschneider (Tony Shalhoub) who tells the ill-fated Crane’s about Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, whereby the action of watching something may change its very outcome and we may never know truly how things could work out naturally (“even Einstein thinks he’s onto something!”)
But all this wouldn’t make The Man Who Wasn’t There the typically well-rounded effort we’ve come to expect from the Coen’s if it wasn’t for the uncanny casting and great performances, many of whom are make up the usual Coen suspects. But it is Thornton’s performance as the languid Crane which holds the piece together. Thornton’s craggy face seems made to play this man of so many calmly accepted worries and his expressions, along with his presence, are what make up this extraordinary performance, where most of his dialogue lies in the narration of his tale stretched over a pace as unhurried as his tone, from somber beginning to somber end. Though if Heisenberg’s right and we hadn’t witnessed Ed Crane’s sorry story at all things may have worked out differently for him. We may never know.

A beautifully and lovingly crafted film, this is not only one of the Coen’s greatest achievements, but also one of the best films to come out of America in the last few years

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