Down, out and heartbroken, Paul (played by the ever fabulous Johnny Galecki from “The Big Bang Theory”) is chosen to attend a spiritual retreat to cleanse himself and fix his broken life. What Paul doesn’t know is that the cleanse releases more than every day toxins and purges traumatic experiences. The Master Cleanse literally gives people the opportunity to face your demons.
Screamfest, formed in August 2001 by film producer Rachel Belofsky, has been the place to premier horror movies. Movies like, “Paranormal Activity,” “30 Days of Night,” and “The Human Centipede” all got their start at this awesome horror festival.For me, getting to do my first red carpet was a whirlwind of awesome. Johnny Galecki plays one of my all time favorite characters on T.V., Leonard Hoffsedter on one of my all time favorite shows, “The Big Bang Theory.” Getting to meet him and talk about this film was truly amazing. He originally signed on as just a producer, having met the director Bobby Miller (“TUB”) and hitting it off. Johnny told a story about how he would have loved to play Paul, but at the time, they had another actor cast in the role. So he decided to be a producer. He said, however, that is the other actor fell through, he’d really like to play the lead, but that he didn’t think he could handle doing jobs both in front of the camera and behind the camera. Of course, that’s exactly what happened!
Getting to chat with Johnny about the film and about The Big Bang Theory was an absolute honor for me. I’ve been watching the show pretty much since the beginning (though I caught the first couple of seasons on DVD before tuning in every week) and as a career nerd, the show, and Johnny’s portrayal of Leonard have always filled me with a sense of camaraderie. In fact, The Big Bang Theory got me through a very difficult time when my mother has colon cancer, so, yeah, meeting one of the stars was a huge deal for me.
I also got to chat with one of my idols, Chris Hardwick (@midnight, The Talking Dead). His wife, Lydia Hearst (yes, of the Hearst family) was supposed to attend as a Screamfest Ambassador, but came down with a horrid bout of the flu and lost her voice. So, Chris stepped in and was the moderator for the Q&A after the film. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him before, as I like to attend his beta shows at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood. I recently started reading his book, The Nerdist Way, and he autographed by Character Tome. So, getting to talk to him for a good ten minutes was kind of epic. And while he may not have noticed, I tried to open our conversation with a joke and screwed the pooch royally. I’m pretty sure I was able to recover mentioning that I, too, am a card carrying Ravenclaw and pimping out the Harry Potter fan group I’m involved with. I have to admit it was tough to keep my cool as I was completely fangirling inside, what I hope was my cool exterior.
The film has an absolutely outstanding cast: Anjelica Houston (who is probably most recognized for her portrayal of Morticia Addams in The Addams Family movies), Oliver Platt (Three Musketeers, Flatliners, The West Wing, Dangerous Beauty), Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies, Land of the Lost), and Kevin J. O’Connor (The Mummy, Steel Magnolias, G.I. Joe) are all seasoned veterans that have had long careers and were superb in this film.
I think my only criticism of the film is that I didn’t really think of it as a horror movie. It’s more like a creature feature, without the gore and terror. It is, in this moviegoers’ opinion, more of a modern day morality movie. With that, it is a fascinating concept about how people would deal with actually manifesting their fears and toxins into a living breathing being and would they be able to do away with them when the time came.
This is, in my opinion, a damn fine start to director Bobby Miller’s career and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what else he comes up with in the future.
3.5 stars for this film!!!