It had been a long time since we were last surprised and inspired by a brand new film and then Bellflower fucking blew our minds off. Opera prima of Evan Glodell (writer/actor/director) with a budget of $17.000 the “Mother Medusa” of independent films in 2011 skyrocketed and then broke the mould! Its invigorating to see the camera following two friends who spend their time building flamethrowers and other weapons in the hope that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary naive gang.
An old Volvo Coupe with a Whisky dispenser in the dash? Yeah!
Bellflower took three years to produce and was only screened in two theaters in the USA until it was selected by the Sundance hall of madmen and made it BIG. Glodell, at the head of Coatwolf Productions, started this adventure by fabricating his own large format camera. The Ventura youngster, claims himself as a person who always liked to build staff… from Tesla generators to flamethrowers. The idea of having their own cameras, was mandatory to get the washed, saturated, hallucinogenic feeling they wanted for the wacko script.
Model II, is Glodell’s “heavily hacked” rat rod camera started life as an SI-2K digital cinema camera from Silicon Imaging, which Glodell got his hands on by cold-calling the company until they would let him play with one. The Model II combines the SI-2K’s digital cinema chip with an utterly enormous 4×5 imaging plane — the same size favored by fine-art still photographers. That’s why the Coatwolf Model II looks almost like two cameras slapped together: It’s essentially a large-format view camera whose ground glass is “filmed” by a Hollywood-quality digital camcorder.
“I can open the side of the camera and let light into it on purpose,” Mr. Glodell said. “And I know which parts I can let light into and what it will do to make different effects happen.”
But not only of custom cameras we feed here on El Solitario side of the woods… We grow on gasoline, and dig the flat black creepy muscle machine these guys wrapped up for the movie. After ages looking for THE CAR, and not having the money to get themselves something bad enough, finally found on Craigslist this, $2.600, 1971 Buick Skylark, that after heavy doses of kryptonite, takes by its own means a deserved leading role in the movie.
“We ripped out most of the interior paneling and replaced it with steel. We put a roll cage in. We filled up the dashboard with as many switches and gauges and levers as possible and made each one of them do something.”
Those switches operate surveillance cameras strapped to the vehicle; a bleach system that sprays the rear tires, allowing the car to burn out more easily; and tailpipes that are rerouted vertically through the trunk and fuel-injected to shoot fire. During the production Mother Medusa, as it was called, blew its engine three times, leaving the crew with no money & delaying more than eight months the filming schedule.
Such a cool movie that when Oscilloscope’s founder (Ex-Beastie Boys) Adam Yauch (RIP), agreed to release the tape, he wrote on the contract the need to get two of Glodell’s flamethrowers for himself, one for him and another one, in smaller size, for his daughter. WATCH THE TRAILER BELOW:
LOVE IT OR HATE IT BUT WATCH IT!
More info on the cameras here: http://www.creativeplanetnetwork.com/dv/feature/diy-mayhem-39bellflower39/16728
More info on Mother Medusa here: http://www.wired.com/underwire/2011/03/medusa-bellflower/?pid=3074
More info on the crew here: http://www.coatwolf.com/