M dot Strange (AKA Michael Belmont)  

A self-produced, one-man-army, animator, musician and video-game creator, and a product of the era thanks to easy access to technology and the easy marketing potential of the internet and youtube, where anyone and everyone can create a fan-base. Unfortunately, the first couple of full-length movies he produced demonstrate a prime example of someone who should not be making movies, thanks to what seems like a very bad case of A.D.D., the basic inability to create a cohesive narrative and characters, and a juvenile approach to dialogue, voice acting and characters. 'I Am Nightmare' sees cohesion start to appear, and the imaginative imagery he creates is pure free-form weird and sometimes strikingly and effectively surreal, but it remains to be seen whether this new-generation film-maker will mature enough to produce something solid. Reviewed until 2016.

Of Some Interest

I Am Nightmare  
Surprisingly, this features a cohesive story. Except that the animation has deteriorated back to an awkward video-game level with distractingly bad facial movements and a general feel of generic modeling and jittery movements. Perhaps it's some kind of uncertainty principle... The story involves a town where nothing is allowed to change, and the children are made to guard the town at night from nightmarish monsters while the adults enjoy life. Except that a mysterious and unkillable Nightmare Hunter has suddenly appeared in town that seems to be both nightmare and hero, and some parents are beginning to question the disappearances of children. This outing is actually more of a conventional fantasy/horror animation from Belmont, except that when the nightmare monsters appear, things get pretty surreal with imaginative creatures and epic supernatural battle scenes that leave reality far behind. Voice acting this time is a mixture of the same old amateurish and juvenile dubbing jobs from previous films, as well as some more natural-sounding voices. The dialogue is still really bad however, like they came from the pen of a 10 year old. In short, an improvement, but not there yet.


Heart String Marionette  
A sophomore followup to 'We are the Strange', and, unfortunately, the only thing that has improved is the animation style and imagery (some of which is quite strikingly surreal), but everything else has gotten worse. It's like it came out of someone's brain that has been fried after seeing thousands of anime animations non-stop along with everything by Brothers Quay, and decided to make his own movie on his computer after drinking liters of coffee, except it all came out in an incoherent jumble as a randomly put together sequence of scenes with improvised dialogue patched and altered out of sequence over several months based on the whim of the day. So it started as a movie about a kid, an immortal samurai killer bent on a quest to kill a clown, a stripper, and an evil lord that populates the world with a bunch of monsters (which already makes no sense), and ended up as one of the most incoherent messes I've ever seen. Non-sequiturs, silly juvenile dialogue, random motivations, confusing events and fights, scene after scene that will leave you scratching your head, horrible musical rock-opera numbers, monsters that appear and disappear, heroes that keep dying and coming back to life for unknown reasons, and over-acting voice-actors that seem to have been weaned on amateurish anime dubbing jobs, etc etc. Add to this an avant-garde soundtrack and ranges from cacophony to interesting, but is way, way too ubiquitous and loud, and you have one big headache that doesn't seem to end.

We Are The Strange  
A unique movie created with a strange mixture of anime-style animation, 3d computer graphics, stop-motion animation, cut-outs, and graphics that look like computer games from the 70s and 80s. The story is almost non-existent and involves a girl with a strange disease abused by an evil pimp. She runs away and meets a doll-boy who communicates using squeaks, and she searches for ice-cream, while a warrior fights various evil forces in the bizarre city full of trippy decorations and strange monsters. Most of the movie is just weird visuals and crazy fighting sequences. It fails on almost every level though because there is no interesting plot, it doesn't bring a world or characters to life but reinvents them every minute, making this the ultimate A.D.D. movie, and the voices sound like they're made by a teenager who watched too many cartoons and has way too much time on his hands. There was obviously lots of work involved in creating this but I got bored after 5 minutes. This is the worship of free-form acid-induced imagination taken to a dull extreme.

1999- by The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre Table of Contents