Radius (Director's Edition) (2004) Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
“Radius” is the consumate classic independent film. It is as much about the making of the movie as it is about the movie itself. It is a half hour of Sci Fi magic and MASTERFUL, ENJOYABLE fast paced filmmaking. It was generated on a shoestring budget by a dedicated crew and cast that went through abominable conditions in the 130 degree heat of Death Valley to nail the project successfully. It makes some of the budgets of movies on the Independent Film Channel seem like big studio production jobs. Indeed, anyone from ‘wanna be’ directors to the big studios like Paramount and Fox can clearly see in “Radius” what is possible, without the big production bucks and the overpaid actors. (One can speculate that if producer Andrew Trapani and director Helmut Kobler had run the so-so “StarTrek: Enterprise” or “Voyager”, they might still be on TV. “Radius” has a rich palette of SciFi characters and possibilities.)
The cast is wonderful. Matt McCoy is top notch. Catalina Larranaga probably puts her finest work on film to date and the surprise last minute casting of Michael Yavnieli pays off immensely. But Paul Logan’s malevolent Diamone character steals the show (as does his stunt choreography). It’s interesting that over 1000 actors applied for roles in “Radius”. As special effects go, the outer space effects are unremarkable, but the terrestrial special effects are mindblowingly good. The powerful soundtrack pushes things along wonderfully. The storyline is gripping enough for a huge Sci Fi fan like me. The 3O minutes or so seem like a fast-paced hour, but there is a reason for the 30 minute time limit on the film.
“Radius” contains a really great “making of” second disk that is very educational for both experienced and inexperienced film-makers. Having seen a number of “making of” disks that accompany “studio” films, the dedication and determination of these underpaid actors and film-makers is AWESOME and the product is very enjoyable. When one compares the “making of” disks of other desert films like “Fiight of the Phoenix” and “Hidalgo”, those studio guys were in the lap of luxury. The film camera, the casting, director of photography, set design (total cost: a phenomenal $4000 and lots of cunning improvisation), casting, and locations are all addressed in detail. Outside of the camera, the key piece of equipment apparently was the Macintosh Powerbook notebook computer running the Mac OS X software and the incredible Final Cut Pro 4. Even the utility of the website “cinematographer dot com” played a major role in acquiring the ‘killer’ indie crew so essential to the success of this film. No closed captioning available. Some foul language. No nudity. PG-13 minimum.
“Radius” will enthrall the veteran Sci Fi fan and filmmakers in general. Make no mistake about it, “Radius” is astute independent filmmaking at it’s finest. Five Stars!!
About Radius (Director's Edition) (2004)
Starring: Matt Mccoy, Paul Logan, Michael Yavnieli, Catalina Larranaga
Runtime: 127 minutes