A remarkable achievement on an artisanal level, Chris Sullivan’s low-budget, homemade feature uses a cluttered environment of sets, marionettes, actors, painted backdrops, and a storehouse of props to create a grisly, surreal fantasy about a soap salesman trying to make his way to a class reunion. Full of dense, ingeniously constructed pictorial effects ranging from intricate split-screen compositions to toylike scale models, the filmmainly black and white, with occasional patches of coloris much more successful in generating an overall environment than it is in telling a story, pursuing a theme, or generating much dramatic interest. The choppy continuity, drifting dialogue, and mainly indifferent acting often give a feeling of randomness to the proceedings that interferes with the intermittent dreamlike moods and fairy-tale humor. But spectators looking for something genuinely different are likely to find this intriguing (1988). (JR)

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