Reel Advice from the Video Store Guy

Twixt

By Steve Anderson
October 1st, 2013

TwixtTwixt
***
DVD
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Written by Francis Ford Coppola
Starring Val Kilmer, Elle Fanning, Bruce Dern
R
2013
89 mins

"Twixt", if absolutely nothing else, is a profoundly, profoundly weird piece of work. But working your way through the weird is going to pay off in grand style, and present a story that's got laughs and horror intermingled in such a seemingly random fashion that it will be incredibly difficult not to be interested.

"Twixt" follows Hall Baltimore, a writer who's been out on a book tour for some time. While making a stop in a small town bookstore--which, conveniently, is locted in the hardware store--for a signing, he stumbles on the story of a gruesome murder. Baltimore believes he may well have found his next book in the making. But this might be even bigger than he could have thought it was, especially when the ghosts start showing up. But the ghosts are only a part of what's going on, and the farther Baltimore gets into the story, the more he discovers that this is no book he's stumbled on, but a horror beyond imagining.

The opening images here are odd, make no mistake--it's profoundly weird--and it's like few other movies ever seen. It's almost like an augmented version of "Twin Peaks" shot through with a healthy dollop of "In the Mouth of Madness" and that's a combination that's hard to pass up. There are a hundred little nooks and crannies in this town that may be hiding any amount of God alone knows what, and frankly, this little town, this little town of Swann Valley where people go when they want to be left alone, is oddly compelling.

I don't know what's going on here. This is essentially Francis Ford Coppola's Castle Rock, and the movie even describes Hall Baltimore as "a bargain-basement Stephen King." This town, really, is a bargain-basement Castle Rock. Much like Castle Rock, there will be stretches that are creepy, stretches that are funny, and stretches that are absolutely too batshit bonkers to even understand. I spent a lot of time asking "Twixt" just where the hell it thought it was going, and it not only adamantly refused to tell me where it was going, but it actively defied all of my demands that it begin to make some kind of sense, and do so forthwith. That just plain old wasn't going to happen, no sir, and any requests to the contrary were greeted with stony silence.

That's not to say that it wasn't worth watching; make no mistake about it. It's a massive slab of weird on a bun made largely out of weird with a sauce entirely made of weird thickened with corn starch--the corn starch is also weird--but it's still worth following along with just for the sake of making it through this preposterous affair.

The ending doesn't exactly manage to solve much, but it's certainly not letting anyone down who came here for the batshit bonkers, because wow, man, that's here and then some.

Special features here include your choice of English, French or Spanish subtitles, a documentary about the film itself by no less than Gia Coppola, and trailers for "Carrie," "Stoker," "12 Rounds: Reloaded," and "Phantom."

"Twixt" is weird. It's creepy, it's comical, and the farther down this particular rabbit hole you go, the more disturbing it gets, but it's going to be quite a ride all the same. The question is, are you particularly interested in a ride so weird that it's going to be much unlike anything you've ever seen? If you are, strap in and ride this bullet all the way to the end. If not, well, don't come back here, yankee...this isn't the trip for you.

Want to receive an expanded version of Reel Advice as an E-Newsletter?? Email to thevideostoreguy@columnist.com with "The Advisor" in the subject line.  Steve Andersen, much to his own chagrin, is a five-plus year veteran of the direct to video market. He has spent an alarming amount of time in video stores and seeks to provide the public with advance information on all the video releases that they may never have heard of...whether they want to hear of them or not. Steve appears in one way or another weekly, biweekly, or monthly on such fine entertainment-related ezines as Film Threat, Dream Forge, Reel Horror, Acid Logic, Chaotic Culture Magazine, Malicious Bitch webzine, and many others. Readers, agents, or editors can email Steve at thevideostoreguy@columnist.com




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