April 17, 2020 @ 9:30 p.m.
An aesthetically flawless pastiche of regional shot-on-video horror that simultaneously documents the tragic suicide of the filmmakers who created it.
Dir. Jay Burleson | USA | 2014 | 86 min |
Cast: Lane Hughes, Bill Pacer, Neva Howell, Warren Werner, Samantha Dixon.
"The Nobodies cleverly explores the darker side to the “lost film” myth with a story that should resonate with anyone whose ambitions have been thwarted. - Brett Gallman, Oh The Horror"
Shot on video with a meagre budget of $600 in 1993, PUMPKIN was to be the auspicious debut of amateur horror filmmaker Warren Werner. A few months after the film’s disastrous premiere, Warren and his girlfriend Samantha Dixon would take their own lives. The tragedy would become the subject of a documentary, which itself was never completed. An enthralling marriage of text and its metatext, The Nobodies is Warren Werner’s film, in its entirety, juxtaposed with the surviving documentary footage - but understand that all of it was born from the remarkable imagination of Alabama writer/director/actor Jay Burleson.
Aesthetically flawless, disturbingly deranged, and frequently hilarious, Burleson breaks from the traditional faux-documentary mode, eschewing practiced caricatures (ie. the cinema of Christopher Guest), and instead wringing comedy and pathos from an ensemble cast of non-professionals who portray their parts with a disarmingly authentic sincerity. Certainly reminiscent of genuine docs like Chris Smith’s cult classic American Movie or Joel DeMott’s Demon Lover Diary, but pitched at a more sobering tone, The Nobodies eventually proceeds towards an emotionally devastating denouement. It is one that should deservedly secure Burleson the appreciation and acclaim that his on-screen counterpart Werner was woefully denied.