This is the Netflix synopsis: Amateur journalist Edmund Bigelow (Kip Pardue) becomes obsessed with the gruesome onstage magic of Montag the Magnificent (Crispin Glover), who seems to violently murder his female volunteers before the audience's very eyes. It's all an act of course, until Bigelow discovers that the women are turning up dead -- days later - - from their supposedly illusionary wounds.
Kip Pardue is just a bad actor- his mannerisms are too artificial and his delivery just doesn't seem like it was practiced enough. Bijou Phillips is foregettable and all of the victims are brought to you by the bare-breasted, tatted, pale stiffness of the Suicide Girls (no care).
What can I say? This could have been better as a short story. The main character is supposed to be this jaded noirish throwback that dresses in vintage suits, drives a vintage car, and uses a rotary phone. As the character publishes an underground newspaper and begins to sleuth around the mysterious happenings of Montag The Magnificent, it must have been seen as a way to help the story if the character could pass in some way as a vintage, hard-boiled detective-type. Some things that don't help but whose reasons behind them were meant to aid the story are the fact that our protagonist huffs from a paper bag many more times than are needed to be captured and that he cracks his neck throughout the film to annoying effect.
There are times in this film when diegetic sound is needed; it's too quiet when there really should be noise (i.e. our protagonists meander around a motel that seems to have been converted into a temple for debauchery and though the atmosphere is carnival, the guests are strangely quiet). The film itself relies heavily on its own digital filmmaking to get it through (i.e. Montag performs his tricks behind a machine that acts as a type of smart window).
Am I saying you shouldn't see this movie? Fuck no, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that you should make up your own mind but I won't be watching it again. The benefit to Netflix is that you can give back the movies that you get in the mail.
Thanks for reading.
PS- That kid that played Homer in Near Dark grew up to become this guy on the left: