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Hits from BendFilm: The gamut of cool, eye-opening, heartfelt and comic flicks just keep coming 

The gamut of cool, eye-opening, heartfelt and comic flicks just keep coming.

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note: Our film critic, Morgan P. Salvo, spent the weekend taking in the movies of the BendFilm Festival, where he's long been a volunteer. Here's a list of the flicks that caught his eye and also may have caught your eye, too, if you made it out to BendFilm.


Cold Storage (Directed by Tony Ellwood) This was by far my favorite, although in a semi-packed house I was one of only four people who applauded. A very warped and disturbing movie, it features the same hillbilly perspective of Norman Bates' Psycho world. This gory, graphic and darkly comic flick will make you think twice about taking that trip through the mountains.

The Overbrook Brothers (Directed by John Bryant) This movie swept up three completely deserved awards: Best of Show, Best Screenplay and Best Actor (Mark Reeb). A hilarious and realistic comedy, it features the road trip of two brothers on a mission to discover their heritage and their escalating rivalry. Reeb delivers a performance that is a cross between Josh Brolin and John Malkovich.

The Blue Bus (Directed by Philip Scarpaci) I can't say enough good things about this movie. It's a feel-good-under-any-circumstance flick as a pair of friends figure a way to end their midlife (or three-quarter life) crises by taking a road trip to New Orleans. The rapport between the two leads (Scarpaci and Ron Recasner) is phenomenal, fueled by their real-life friendship and ability to convey honesty on camera.

Rockwell (Directed by Joe Durst) Locals Durst and producer Chris Kas throw some curves with this short: a bloody poem set to splashy graphics ala Sin City.

Palace of Light (Directed by Tim Piper). Beautifully written and acted, this parody skewers advertising, political and corporate gain through some heavy sarcasm.

The Beholden (Directed by David Jibladze) Winner of both Best Student Short and Best Supporting Actor (Ken Gamble), this heavy violent and suspenseful thug thriller comes complete with great photography, weird dark humor and a nice twist.


D-tour (Directed by Jim Granato) Winner of Best Documentary D-tour chronicles the trials and tribulations of Pat Spurgeon. The drummer for the band Rogue Wave, Spurgeon needs a kidney transplant. This heartwarming and painfully sad movie ends with an extremely strong message of hope.

Back to the Garden (Directed by Kevin Tomilson) Forty years later, these Free Love generation hold-outs are still trying to get by on Flower Power. This documentary was edited by local filmmaker Tim Cash and had a huge favorable, almost interactive audience response.

Bone Crusher (Directed by Michael Fountain) This was the touching and sad tale of Luther and Lucas Chaffin, father/son coal miners. Luther is dying of cancer due to years in the mine and son Lucas is determined to live the life of a miner and also take care of dad. Going beyond the trappings of a home movie, this flick sucks you in and doesn't let up until the end.

Vincent A Life in Color (Directed by Jennifer Burns) Vincent Falk was here doing his spins and showing off his wild suits, proving that he really is the life of the party. A kooky public figure in Chicago with a day job in county computer records, this flamboyant legally blind showoff is all he's cracked up to be. When he's not spinning bad puns he's dancing for the tour boats on a bridge.


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