DIRECTED BY: Zachary Oberzan
FEATURING: Zachary Oberzan
PLOT: Small town Kentucky Sheriff Teasle picks up a shaggy vagrant, but finds that the kid is not as harmless as he initially appears; violent events lead the cop to stalk the resourceful fugitive through the forests toward a deadly showdown.
WHY IT MIGHT MAKE THE LIST: Flooding With Love for the Kid actually breaks the Weirdometer. A one-man retelling of David Morell’s pulp novel “First Blood,” made for $96, with toy snakes, teddy bears, and pine branches for props, shot entirely inside one Manhattan apartment, Flooding exists in its own universe: beyond weird or normal.
COMMENTS: In the category of “best feature film shot for under $100,” the winner, by a wide margin, is Flooding With Love for the Kid. The end credits explain that the film was “adapted, produced, directed, designed, filmed, performed, edited, special effects and makeup by Zachary Oberzan”: an entire career résumé in one movie. Primarily, the film’s an advertisement for Oberzan’s acting abilities. Playing all the characters, his ingenuity is tested to its limits. He generates significant empathy in the primary role of Teasle, the cop who looks like a man completely in command of his tiny police fiefdom, but who’s hiding personal pain and insecurity underneath the assured facade. The kid, Rambo, is a more mysterious figure—almost Christlike in his passive resistance to authority at the film’s beginning, though he turns into a survivalist psychopath cypher by the end of the first act. This portrayal focuses on the character’s mystical, symbolic side rather than on Rambo as a killing machine; Oberzan’s no Sylvester Stallone, and that’s meant as a compliment. When clean-shaven Teasle acts in split screen beside the bearded kid, you realize that these seamless-looking scenes where Oberzan reacts to himself had to be shot months apart. The auteur also plays the dozens of supporting characters, including an entire police squad, greasy spoon waitresses, Viet Cong torturers and, in his oddest role, a team of bloodhounds on Rambo’s trail. Playing all these parts tax Oberzan’s art to its limit, but he manages at the very least to distinguish each character so we can always tell them apart. Humorously, one of the deputies has slightly gay mannerisms (though we’re told he’s married). Other minor characters don’t fare as well: Colonel Troutman is little more than a pair of mirrored shades Continue reading CAPSULE: FLOODING WITH LOVE FOR THE KID (2010)