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Sunday, December 29, 2013

VIC (2006) - Do Not Forget this DVD

Let's get this out of the way. I haven't been moved by a short film in quite the same way that Vic moved me. I'm not entirely certain that this picture is what I would have expected from Sage Stallone. Maybe I was thinking that I would see something with a touch more grit or gore from the man who helped create Grindhouse Releasing, the purveyors of Cannibal Holocaust, Pieces and Cannibal Ferox onto DVD with all the trimmings. I was expecting at least one cannibal or one serious bloodletting (okay... maybe you get that), but I was not expecting to be emotional summoned. Stallone was able to capture the spirit of growing old, forgotten and having never had the chance to do it himself. Further more he was able to work with a genre cult legend of sorts, Clu Gulager. While you may know Gulager from any number of TV shows or feature films, I know him from Return of the Living Dead and loved him that role. From whatever film you may know him, you'll remember him after Vic. While this is a short movie shot in 2006, it was released on DVD this December with more than just good intentions. Vic will make you feel something if you let it in.

Synopsis from Moonblood Pictures:

Vic Reeves was once the good-looking respected Hollywood star, honored for his award-winning roles in classic Western Movies and Television dramas. 

Today, past his prime overlooked and forgotten, he is reduced to making appearances in cheap B-grade slasher flicks. When a late-night phone call from director Tony La Salle offers Vic an opportunity for a comeback, the actor must face the toughest audition of his career.

The whole thing starts off with a great big false start that leads you into the life of Vic Reeves (Clu Gulager). It opens on a demented scene of gore and guts in true exploitation fashion, and then it just stops on a dime, pivots and pulls a 180 degree re-direction to allow us into the heart and mind of an aging actor who is beyond his great years, forgotten, neglected. Vic Reeves is a man who lives his life with great heart but is noticeably tired and frustrated by the hand that life has given him in his later years. That doesn't mean that he is without dignity or work ethic. Gulager as Reeves is a powerhouse of strange and uncomfortable emotions. It's as if you are looking into your own future. Perhaps not as a movie star, but as a lost soul trying to make it into the coffin as delicately as possible, but still considering the possibility, however slim, that your best years are actually ahead of you. From one minute where Vic begs money off a director to the next when he's sitting at home watching television late in the evening alone this is an intimate look into reality. After enjoying Vic, going to the grocery store feels just a little bit harder... there's a healthy dose of "what does it all mean". Sure there's flash of fiction in the whole movie, but save that for the bookends of the picture. You could easily mistake this for a docu-drama if you didn't know the players.

In addition to the movie proper, Vic contains a montage of the works of Vic Reeves or should we say, Clu Gulager. It's a pictorial history of his legend in film that seems to mirror Vic's legend, and you can only hope that the comparison isn't true to fiction. You want Clu to have led a much fuller life in his later years. Clu offers an interview as well that will endear you to this actor while forcing you to rewatch Vic (it's short so you can do that easily)just so you can see how his passion for the role translates into your own sympathy and frustration. The packaging comes in one of those older, cardboard sleeves with the black latch on the side. I haven't seen one of these in years, but it holds the DVD art well.

Vic isn't a feel good movie, and aside from some setup, this isn't a gore picture at all. Stallone has crafted an emotional piece; one that captures a different side of his love for under-appreciated films. There are some strong cameos of faces that you may remember that combine for moments of humor. In fact, there are quite a few moments of black humor surrounding some of the more rigid moments in the picture. They only set the stage for moments of anger and embarrassment.

Go pick up Vic NOW.

-Doc Terror

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