The Weapon (2000)

This one was made near Pittsburgh for a reported two thousand dollars.

Matt Kambic wrote and directed and it would be a challenge to count all the people in the credits named “Kambic”.  There are a lot of them.

In fact, about two-thirds of the people in the credits have one of four or five last names.  This is that sort of a film.

What we’re looking at is an incredibly ambitious project, with an epic scope, about a world devastated by the terrible “weapon” of the title, and the political machinations which lead to a scientist being sent into the wasteland to retrieve the weapon from its hiding place.  He thinks he’s going to get to study it, but the real plan is, of course, to use its devastating power.

The devastated future here is particularly well thought out, with its history and constitution turned into a sacred book, and the whole system, draped in a secular religion:  a near-worship of the water the government doles out sparingly complete with its own litany:  “The Water flows for all and always.”  Ultimately, it is a sort of a futuristic Caesaropapism, but one that is coming apart at the seams as more and more people question the authority of the government.

As one would expect from this sort of film, the acting is flat, the laboratory set is actually the kitchen of a small Lutheran parish, and the sound quality is appalling (admittedly one of the hardest things to get right, although you’d think they could have re-looped at least some of the dialogue.  And when will amateur filmmakers learn that you’re supposed to put wireless mikes on the actors?), and it isn’t always easy to tell what’s going on.

But they have flying bikes.  And digitally extended sets.

Now that’s something you don’t see in most $2000 dollar films.

All in all, it’s an interesting – and earnest – little film, good enough to earn a run on Netflix and a DTV release on Brentwood’s Galaxy of Terror set, along with three of the Polonia brothers equally zero-budgeted films.  One misses the brothers’ sense of humor, perhaps, but it still seems a shame that Matt never went on to make another film.

It’s worth a look –  at least for those willing to set aside their expectation of Hollywood perfection.

 

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