Synopsis: Best friends Woodrow and Aiden spend all of their free time building MAD MAX-inspired flamethrowers and muscle cars in preparation for a global apocalypse. But when Woodrow meets a charismatic young woman and falls hard in love, he and Aiden quickly integrate into a new group of friends, setting off on a journey of love and hate, betrayal, infidelity, and extreme violence more devastating and fiery than any of their apocalyptic fantasies.
Release Date: August 5, 2011 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Action, Drama
Woodrow (Evan Glodell) and Aiden (Tyler Dawson) are two best friends living an ordinary existence. They have a shanty home, drink far too much, and all in all are just a couple of regular guys. But they do have one thing that makes them special, they like to build really cool stuff. Their current creation is an amazing flamethrower that when put to the test far exceeds expectations–this thing is seriously impressive. Building the flamethrower is not what Bellflower is about, although it does make a key appearance towards the end which catapults the film from being a tragic love story to an apocalyptic laced delusion where Woodrow lets loose all of his anger, frustration, and pain on Milly. Bellflower is actually a love story, between Milly (Jessie Wiseman) and Woodrow, and chronicles their story through chapters as the relationship begins, and ultimately ends.
Milly is one messed up woman if there ever was one. To call Milly toxic is a compliment. Woodrow meets Milly at a bar when he challenges her in a cricket eating contest. Milly wins, and a romance is born. Their first date finds them on an epic road trip to Texas. What makes the trip epic is the discovery that Woodrow’s car has a fancy gadget at the glove box–a whiskey dispenser. At this point all of the conversation and boring meanderings that occur between Milly and Woodrow become overshadowed by the one thought in your head, “I really want a whiskey dispenser in my car too.” Before long Milly and Woodrow do something incredibly stupid with the car — in a direct attempt by the filmmakers to add some more Mad Max styling to the picture — and end up back home. Aidan during this time has been spending time with one of Milly’s friends, and preparing the flamethrower for its inaugural flame throwing exercise.
Following the story along there are the normal relationship moments, all forgettable, until the moment comes that the detestable Milly shows her true colors–she has an affair. As Bellflower is toted as an apocalyptic story it is not until Milly commits this sin that the film gets interesting because of the slow decline Woodrow experiences from the traumatic event. Up until now the movie has been a curiously structured piece where one is never quite sure about what the point is overall. Watching Woodrow spiral into a deep depression, and Aidan try to woo his friend out of it by building a car of epic proportions, in true Mad Max apocalyptic style, is when your interest peaks. The car is a marvel, named Medusa, and the first time the engine fires up it is exciting. Things escalate quickly for Woodrow and what appears to be a doomed romance turns into a horrific thriller that shocks the audience with the level of insanity it takes on.
The unfortunate let down of Bellflower then occurs. After a brilliant–what should have been the climax–scene between Woodrow and Milly where all hell breaks loose and the apocalyptic undertones of the film take their rightful place front and center it continues, for far too long. Things go back to being overly ordinary, the viewer loses interest in the characters, and one is left with additional plot that holds no greater meaning for the story at hand. Woodrow could have completed his character arc as a man gone mad over love and being betrayed. This is not Woodrow’s ending, and Bellflower would have been a ton more enjoyable if it had been. Even a much briefer epilogue would have sufficed, to tie a few loose ends together and put the viewer in a place of resolution with Woodrow, Milly, and Aiden. Instead there is a remarkable shot of Woodrow, blood soaked and mad, walking down the street, begging to fade to black but not. Things keep going, and the viewer is dragged down with the film into an abyss of ultimate disappointment. Leave twenty minutes before the end and save yourself from feeling vexed over the filmmakers choices.
The flamethrower, the whiskey dispenser, and the car, Medusa, are enough to make the production design notable in Bellflower. When everything else on screen looks sad, old, and fairly run-down it is a relief to see anything out of the ordinary and exciting. The sets of Bellflower consist of a bar patio, a couple different interiors of homes, and lots of outside areas. There isn’t anything eye-catching until you see the flamethrower, witness the whiskey dispenser in action, or catch sight of Medusa careening down the road. These three things are the key focus in the film, and each have an impact on a different chapter, or more than one. They are the elements of production design that matter and the filmmakers took the time to make sure they would be memorable for the viewer.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Evan Glodell
- Producer(s): Evan Glodell
- Screenwriter(s): Evan Glodell (Woodrow)Jessie Wiseman (Milly)Tyler Dawson (Aiden)
- Story: Rebekah Brandes (Courtney)
- Cast: Vincent Grashaw (Mike)Zack Kraus (Elliot) Evan GlodellVincent GrashawJoel HodgeJonathan Keevil
- Editor(s): Joel Hodge
- Cinematographer: Jonathan Keevil
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA