Tommy Wisdom is a down on his luck filmmaker who finds his life turned upside down. The father he never knew has passed away and left him an inheritance that includes a little insanity.
This is billed as the world’s first one-man feature film. Geoff Searle plays each character, directs, created the score and probably handled the catering. He did everything and has real talent. Madness in the First Degree
felt like Terry Gilliam on acid with its f*cked up editing and camera work, an impressive score and a few outrageous special effects. This dude worked with very little to create one long acid trip. But too bad for me; I had no chemical enhancements to keep this flick entertaining. And frankly that probably would have helped tons. For the first half hour or so I was really intrigued in the insane visuals and over the top acting that reminded me a little of Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste
. But sadly, aside from its clever selling point, this flick just didn’t go anywhere. If this had been a short film I think it could have been pretty brilliant but then they could have not claimed that “first one-man feature film” gimmick.
Now the story here was very simple; Tommy Wisdom is a filmmaker in trouble who has girlfriend issues and money problems. This includes some brut who plans on doing away with our hero. Then his fate is decided when he gets a letter telling him that he has been left a house in England by his recently deceased father. When he gets there he discovers his “brothers” Charlie, Oscar and Michael who all look a whole lot like Tom. It seems they are interested in getting Tommy to try some “concentrated madness”. Of course he takes the worst of it because of a mix-up and finds he begins to go a little mad. There are hallucinations, strange looking monsters and a little issue of world domination. Geoff Searle seems like he could be a really brilliant filmmaker, he uses some creative images with some insane imagery. But he lets it go on far too long with no real purpose. But hey… you gotta give him credit for some incredibly imaginative ideas.
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Geoff Seale is a talented guy. He has made a pretty entertaining short film that felt like the bastard child of Peter Jackson and Terry Gilliam. The problem is this is not a short film. It is a 96 minute, you really need to get high to enjoy, mind f*ck. I dug what he did with the sounds and images and he really has a good eye. But this goes on far too long for what he was trying to accomplish. I look forward to seeing what he could do with his talent and imagination, but I suggest if you want to make a one-man feature film… have a strong story. Call me crazy...