When his brother Martin (Brian Morvant) leaves his physician brother Ed (Dean Cates) a disturbed sounding and more than just a little disquieting message on his answer phone, Ed grabs their estranged alcoholic sister Lyla (Lauren Ashley Carter) and drives off to the cabin in the middle of nowhere where Martin lives to stage a neat little family intervention.
Martin, you see, has been having psychological problems ever since he left
the army, perhaps based on what may or may not have happened to him in one of
the last US wars. His last institutionalization was on Ed’s head, though he
isn’t quite convinced anymore that was the right idea to help Martin get better.
Or rather, he isn’t until Lyla and he arrive at Martin’s cabin. There, Martin
doesn’t just threaten them with a rifle for a bit but also starts off on an
insane, long, and very loud rant about the experiments the government did on
him, the “pods” they created as horrible weapons, how he found one of these pods
in the woods – or maybe it found him - and how how he has now locked it away in
his cellar. From here on out, things escalate rather quickly, for as insane as
Martin sounds, he really has something rather monstrous locked away down there
and the government – as represented by yet another Larry Fessenden cameo – truly
is somehow involved.
Sure sure sure, yes yes yes, Mickey Keating’s indie horror exercise in
conspiracy theories and mad screeching is not the most original of films, and
it’s true, it can be a somewhat annoying film thanks to its insistence on
ever-increasing loudness and cheap shock effects.
However, watching Pod, I found myself mostly enjoying it, the
shameless and unapologetic way it mixes alien conspiracy theories’ greatest
hits, its clear disinterest in being tasteful when that means giving up on
having fun or diluting the pure power of SCREAMING LOUDLY IN YOUR FACE for at
least two thirds of its running time. And while that might sound pretty dumb,
this isn’t a dumb film at all – at least, the way it plays with its clichés
feels rather clever to me, playful without becoming lamely ironic.
Obviously, this sort of film needs acting dialled up to eleven, and that’s
exactly what the small cast provides for your eighty minutes of
dysfunctionality. Particularly Morvant gives his all in what might not be the
most authentic portrayal of somebody suffering a psychotic break but certainly
is an effective – and very loud – one, leaving no head un-pounded and no eardrum