A scene from "Fading of the Cries." (Eammon Films )
For those who felt the best part of the recent "Super 8" was the faux amateur Super 8 movie during the end credits, "Fading of the Cries" actually has many of the same naive charms.
Written and directed by Brian A. Metcalf, "Cries" was produced using relatively lo-tech and inexpensive computer effects — or at least let's all hope so, as what are meant to be dazzling, otherworldly images are in fact spit-take ridiculous. (It is one thing to push the boundaries of the tools at your disposal, quite another to blithely disregard what simply doesn't look right.)
The less said about the film's plot the better, as even a cursory description involves an ancient amulet, an evil wizard, eyeless zombies, assorted mutant henchmen, a trio of women and a vengeful, grieving uncle who gets the whole ball rolling. There's also a mysterious hero with long bangs, a long overcoat and some of the lamest sword-fighting skills anyone has ever decided to include in a movie.
Enthusiasm isn't exactly a replacement for good sense or basic skills, and the film's truest mystery is why no one pulled Metcalf aside and suggested he keep all this to himself, or at the very least market it as pre-fab camp like "Birdemic." Yet there is something oddly comforting in the wide-eyed innocence and misguided commitment the filmmakers have to a story and production this obviously wanting.
The world needs dreamers, and for all its deficiencies of storytelling and filmmaking, "Fading of the Cries" confirms that there are still folks out there dreaming big and reaching out.
"Fading of the Cries." MPAA rating: R for bloody horror violence. Running Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes. At Chinese 6 Theatres, Hollywood; and Culver Plaza Theatres, Culver City.