Every horror fan has their favorite director, writer, or performer; a person that as soon as their name is uttered, sheer excitement envelopes that fan entirely. For many, it is big name filmmakers like Craven or Carpenter. For others, it could be some of the newer names like Roth or Wan. On the other side of the horror spectrum, there are fans that are such diehard supporters of the independent scene that names like Dustin Mills or Ryan Nicholson get their blood pumping. As much as I appreciate what the indie guys [and gals] are doing, it’s always hard to for me to get excited for a low-budget flick. There is one name, however, that when attached to a film will certainly grab my attention. That name is James Cullen Bressack. Rottin’ Roger and I have reviewed a few of his films and this time around, I’m here to share my thoughts on a project that he co-wrote — Auteur. Oh yeah, it also happens to be directed by the son of another fan favorite filmmaker…
An aspiring filmmaker is promised a movie deal if he can track down legendary horror director, Charlie Buckwall, who disappeared before releasing his latest masterpiece entitled ‘Demonic.’ Through a series of interviews conducted with former cast and crew members of Buckwall’s, Jack is able to begin piecing the mystery together. After finally meeting his idol, Jack realizes that Buckwall is stranger than he expected and the truth of his disappearance is more shocking than he could have ever imagined.
The combination of Cameron Romero and James Cullen Bressack is certainly one to get excited about. I have never seen any of Romero’s previous directorial work, but it is clear to see that he is a talented individual, even if I think Auteur ended up being rather stale. The premise for the film had promise, but the execution was lacking and the film falls short because of it. I don’t blame Romero or Bressack, however. If there was more money backing this project, it really could have been something entertaining.
Auteur’s cast was made up of a mix of talented actors and some… not so talented ones. Ian Hutton as the strange mastermind director, Buckwall, was effective, while I thought B.J. Hendricks as documentarian, Jack, was annoying, distracting me from getting into the film any more than I did. The interviewees were also a mixed bag. Matt Mercer was great as the former Assistant Director, but the make-up artist (who I can’t happen to find a real name for) was unbearable to listen to/watch. I did, however, love the performance of arguably the film’s biggest star, Tom Sizemore. Sizemore plays himself who happened to star in the fictional movie in question. The best thing about his performance was the fact that it didn’t seem to be scripted at all. It feels as if they gave him some notes here and there and he just ran with it in his own zany way. It was frantic and brilliant all at once.
Auteur is a rather short film with a runtime of only 75 minutes. While I was hoping it would end with a bang, I instead was greeted by an uneventful viewing of this secret ‘Demonic’ that was riddled with poor CG effects and the inevitable demise of young Jack.
I wish I enjoyed this film as much as I anticipated, but a miniscule budget doomed the production from the start. I have not lost faith in James Cullen Bressack, though, and will certainly keep my eye out for the next Cameron Romero film, as well. If you are a supporter of either filmmaker, give Auteur a shot and let me know what you think in the comments below. It is available now on DVD from MVD Entertainment Group.
I give Auteur 1.5 CGI blacked-out eyes out of 5.