Strawberry Flavored Plastic
by Hope Madden
Like Man Bites Dog meets The Last Horror Movie, Strawberry Flavored Plastic attempts to document the behavior of a serial killer.
Not to be mistaken for found footage, the film itself is the result of several months’ worth of documentary footage shot principally by Errol (Nicholas Urda) and Ellis (Andres Montejo), two filmmakers eager to finally make a movie.
They believe they’re following a recently-released felon back into society, but in fact, Noel (Aidan Bristow) is a serial killer.
Do they keep filming?
Strawberry Flavored Plastic revolves around a clever conceit, one that’s easy to overlook if you don’t pay attention. But first time feature filmmaker Colin Bemis shows faith in an audience that’s paying attention.
Though the dialog often feels like wildly overwritten musings on the art of filmmaking and the nature of psychosis, the film cleverly creates a reason for the stilt and Bristow handles the script and the focus of the film well.
The actor creates a frightening, volcanic and surprisingly sympathetic central figure for the film. His is a clever, twisty performance nimbly balancing the conflicting purposes his character embodies.
Urda has a tougher time with the the dialog. As he waxes philosophical on the mercenary nature of the documentarian and the limits of complicity, his delivery too often sounds more like film school pretentions.
Aside from a handful of security camera images that beg POV questions, Bemis’s visual style is a great strength of the film. Rarely betraying the film’s shoestring budget, a nice variation of styles helps to fuel the picture’s momentum. More than that, the use of psycho-held camera manages, with smooth, clean precision, to better articulate the main character.
Made for barely 13K, Strawberry Flavored Plastic not only commands your attention, it announces an intriguing new filmmaker worth watching.
Strawberry Flavored Plastic is available on Amazon January 23.