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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2 thoughts on “The Weapon (2000)

  1. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the thoughtful review. The Weapon was indeed a labor of love. I like to call it a ‘home movie gone awry’. But I loved every minute of making it. (Inadvertently, making the movie led to work for Disney.)

    I certainly appreciate a reviewer who understands the limitations of this kind of filmmaking and is willing to justify the work on the merits manifesting inside those limits.

    For more on my current projects, including a recently published sci-if novel that’s won two awards, check out my website: http://www.mdkambic.com. There’s more about the movie there, also.

    I see you live in Warren, PA. I lived in Pittsburgh until 2013; now live in Middle Earth, a half hour from Hobbiton in New Zealand.

    Good luck with your blog. I just saw Thor Ragnarok- a splendid comedy of thrills.

    Cheers,
    Matt Kambic

    Like

    1. Thanks for the kind words Matt! I”m always happy to give a shout out for a “local” boy (even if he has gone Hobbit on us)! Glad to hear that your labor of love paid off.

      I always try to review films on their own terms, and frankly I find it sad how often people will trash some interesting lo-fi effort, simply because it isn’t as glossy as the latest 100 million blockbuster from Hollywood. Frankly, I think we can use all the “Garage Band” filmmakers out there we can get, turning out unique and strange films outside the monolithic entertainment industry.

      So thanks for your hard work and passion. We need more of it!

      Like

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