Tag Archives: Evan Marlowe


by Daniel Baldwin

Genre-bending mysteries were big in the ‘80s and high concept thrillers were all the rage in the ‘90s. Attempting to combine both is a bit of a tall order, but it’s one that writer/director Evan Marlowe aims for with Abruptio. What we have here is an increasingly tense and weird tale of a mild-mannered sad sack named Les (James Marsters – more on that in a moment) who finds himself at the center of an increasingly weird and violent conspiracy. Forces beyond his comprehension are compelling him to commit heinous acts at the drop of a hat. If he refuses, he dies. But will he be able to live with himself if he continues to accept these diabolical missions?

You’d think that would be enough of a tightrope act for Marlowe to walk, but you’d be wrong. Not satisfied with crafting just any mere genre-melting pot thriller, Evan decided he should also do the entire thing with puppets and other handcrafted effects. The potential failure rate for such an additional complication is high, but Abruptio nonetheless manages to pull it off. Because of this, every last bit of tension, violence, and weirdness gains an extra layer of uncanniness, absurdity, and existential dread.

Quite a few of our puppet leads are voiced by familiar genre performers. There’s the aforementioned James Marsters, who voices a troubled middle aged lead who 30 years ago could have easily been played in the flesh by J.T. Walsh. We also get the late Sid Haig as a sketchy stand-up comedian, the great Robert Englund as a haunted neat freak, and Christopher McDonald as a gruff intimidating police chief. All of this is an added bonus atop a film that bears multiple influences from genre filmmaking luminaries like David Cronenberg, John Carpenter, Don Coscarelli, David Lynch, and Joel Schumacher.

An experimental, genre-bending, high concept thriller performed entirely with advanced puppetry should be a recipe for disaster. In the hands of Evan Marlowe, his crew, and his voicecast, it sings. Abruptio should not work, but it very much does. The world has been gifted a wild little midnight movie here that isn’t for everyone, but the people who it is for are going to love every last bit of it.