Monday, February 22, 2010

Lo (2009)


Quick! Go to your Netflix account and find Lo on instant viewing! What? You don't have a Netflix account? Grrrrrr! Okay, go get a trial account and watch Lo. Then come back and see me.

Okay, done? Wasn't that AWESOME?

I've noticed Lo for awhile but the little plot-sketch didn't blow my skirts up. Despite cool artwork on the cover, Netflix describes Lo as:

"Lovelorn Justin (Ward Roberts) sees his life change for the better when quirky April (Sarah Lassez) lands in the middle of it. When she's abruptly kidnapped by a band of demons, Justin sets out to rescue her, with the help of the hellion Lo (Jeremiah Birkett), who has an agenda of his own. Hell, musical demons and oversized rats complicate the path to love in writer-director Travis Betz's horror-comedy hybrid.

A musical horror romantic comedy? No thank you. I only have room in my life for one and that's Rocky Horror. Still, despite much misgivings I was bored so I bit. So glad I did.

Lo opens with Justin calling forth the demon Lo using a mysterious book (which looks pretty familiar to horror fans) belonging to girlfriend April. I've gotta tell you I lost all doubts after Lo's creepy appearance.

To put it mildly, Lo isn't too interested in helping Justin rescue April. In fact, he begins to refer to Justin as "Dinner" as soon as he shows up. Nonetheless, the power of the summoning spell obliges Lo to help. It just doesn't make him any easier to deal with. Malice oozes from Lo's every word.

WARNING! Major Spoiler Ahead! Although if you haven't watched Lo yet, despite my entreaties above, let it be on your head!

In a series of vignettes drawn from Justin's memory, Lo introduces the viewer to Justin's "quirky" girlfriend, April. And quirky she certainly is. Mysterious, paranoid and ignorant of almost every facet of human society would also describe April. It didn't take me long to realize just why April is so "quirky".

Yes, she's a demon. A special demon with a human heart. Or at least a partly human heart. And therein hangs the tale.

To reveal any more really would ruin the movie but I do have a few viewpoints I'd like to throw out.

Lo is written and performed as though it were a "bare-stage" play. I'd really love to see Lo performed on stage and I think, with a few tweaks, it easily could. Writer/Director Travis Betz obviously worked with a miniscule budget but spent the money where it counted: accomplished actors and effective makeup. Jerimiah Birkett's turn as the demon was wicked, malicious and ultimately poignant.

So, was there anything I didn't like about Lo? Honestly, the musical interludes were lost on me. I did appreciate the whimsical touch of a demon advancing the plot as part of a diabolical '50s rockabilly song, but it seemed a bit overlong.

But, other than that minor peeve, I was cheerfully surprised by Lo. See it!

Toolshed verdict? 9/10 gore-smeared pitchforks.

1 comment:

  1. Andy,

    Just wanted to give you a heads up that I reviewed "ThanksKilling" for my Netflix Challenge at your suggestion. Swing by and take a look, if you'd like.