When you have written reviews as many years as i have ( probably for 20 years, and almost 10 years on this blog ), you get to see a lot of different types of films. And that is exactly what i love about writing reviews, every film is different from each other in some ways. Some of them may be in a similar genre, or have an actor that i have reviewed several films from, but i try to mix it up to make it more fun. Not just for me, but for my readers as well. One thing i especially love to do is watch films that are made on a limited budget, known as independent films. And over the years i have seen a lot of different films, made by independent directors. When Hollywood is focusing a lot on doing remakes, sequels and prequels with big budget, this is where independent films usually have a lot to offer. They can make films with a lot more ideas than the big budget films usually do, with a completely different freedom to mix up genres, and take chances. Even if i have reviewed quite a lot of independent films, there are films that i never reviewed that i was planning to do. One of those films that i was planning to review, but never did, is the 2018 independent film Living Space, also known as Nazi Undead from director Steven Spiel. This was one of those independent horror films that looked interesting, and i knew i had to check it out. Living Space ( Nazi Undead ) tells the story of college sweethearts Brad ( played by actor Leigh Scully ) and Ashley ( played by actress Georgia Chara ) are travelling across Germany to visit especially one historical location. But their vacation is about to take a different turn. Nazi Undead is actually a nice surprise, and i especially enjoy the dead nazi general played by Andy McPhee. You can find the film here if you are interested to check it out:
Speaking of independent films, i was asked a while ago from film producer Joe Williams if i could review a film called Abstruse. Of course i said yes, since i am always curious about seeing independent films in all genres ( there is no connection between Nazi Undead and Abstruse, except that they are both independent films. So i finally got a chance to see if Abstruse would be any good. Is this a masterpiece that everyone should see, or is Abstruse as forgettable as Anna Books underwear sales online for fans ?
Justin Stevens ( Kris Reilly ) and his friend Daniel ( Dennis Marin ) are excited about having a good time with some girls, when Justin flip out during a sexual game, and he ends up killing a woman. Amanda London ( Kaiti Wallen ) become a witness to this horrific crime, and tries to tell the truth to Detective Caldwell ( Harkey Wallen ) and Detective Morris ( Jerry Hayes ). When they find drugs in her blood samples, they are not sure if she is telling the truth, especially after 2 cops searched Justin´s appartment for evidence. How will Amanda clear her name, knowing that she is telling the truth?
One thing that strikes me right away about the film poster of Abstruse is that it looks like a straight action film. But this is actually not an action film, i would probably call it more of a crime drama. And i have no problem with that, because if this would have been an action film, it would have needed a lot of action scenes, since this film is almost 2 hours. Abstruse delivers a plot that we have seen before, but that´s ok. What matters is that we get a story that is interesting, and in some parts of the plot we do have potential. But the biggest problem of Abstruse are two things. First of all the length of this film is too long, for such a simple plot. Crime thrillers can be good for 2 hours, but you need something to make the film feel intensive, or at least make sure that something exciting happens. The film do pick up a bit better after around 90 minutes, but that´s a long time to wait for something to happen. My second problem with Abstruse is that some of the female characters are not very good ( except for actress Kaiti Wallen ), so this film basically holds up better through the male actors. Now to some positive, and that is especially two actors. Actor Kris Reilly as the serial killer Justin Stevens is actually a highlight in this film, and even if i have never seen him act before, i get a sense that he might be up to something good, if he works on his acting. He does leave an impact in this film, and that is of coure a good sign. The best acting performance comes from legendary actor Dennis Haskins ( you all remember Mr. Richard Belding in 90´s TV series Saved By The Bell? ) as Senator Stevens. Dennis is the one who is clearly taken his role seriously, and makes sure to show it through his performance. I have to mention legendary actor Tom Sizemore who is here as well, and he does ok. Waving a Swedish flag of course for actor Harley Wallen as Detective Caldwell, i got to say that he should be the detective we need in Sweden to get things in order. Abstruse is not a bad film, because there are parts of the film i do enjoy. But with a length of almost 2 hours for such a simple story becomes too long, that could have easily been 1 hour and 40 minutes instead. Director Harley Wallen have made good films in the past, such as Eternal Code, and i am curious to check out his upcoming projects. Abstruse shows that director Harley Wallen have potential to make a good crime thriller, but in this film it is not enough to make it solid thriller. A good attempt though, i will admit that.