by Damon Packard
Review by Gary Tooze
Independent filmmaker Damon Packard has created a biting and disjointed social commentary on western values that can leave the viewer with a decidedly bad taste in their mouth. Using excessive visual techniques, stolen copy-written soundtracks and grotesque exaggerated characterizations Packard has left few stones unturned in his attack of modern culture. Misuse of police power, improper child-raising techniques, hypocritical mocking of the obese, flagrant ambivalence to the homeless and/or mentally unfit, overeating, political double-talk, violent pets, mindless 70’ television and societal escapism are but a few of the avenues Packard has attacked in his disturbing and graphic foray.
Keeping the attention span of his audience Packard (writer, producer and star) exploits seemingly every trick in his visual book, unfortunately detracting from his important message. ‘Man’s inhumanity to man’ is certainly not an uncommon theme but true autuers tear down perceptions and advance their theories by subtly imbedding them in a coherent plot or sub-plots (see Michael Haneke’s “Code Unknown” as a prime example). This exiguous method is much more effective in reaching an intended viewer-ship. ‘Reflections of Evil’ has no plot, but instead the camera follows Packard as a bumbling, over-fed street vendor who aggressively confronts fellow citizens, their attack dogs, vomiting street people, aghast but unhelpful neighbors, abusive policemen and any other members of society who are unfortunate enough to cross his waddling path.
Unfortunately, Damon has utilized his medium to launch personal attacks on Hollywood filmmakers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Obviously un-fearful of the legal implications Packard has defamed Spielberg’s mere existence as a representation of a major ailment of society. This same unabashed boldness has him illegally using sound snip-its from films like Kubrick’s “The Shining”, Lucas’ “Star Wars” and Peckinpah’s “Straw Dogs”. These hijacked sound-bits again like his over-use of psychedelic camera overlays only detract from his films central focus. His personal attack on another director is nothing short of resentful and childish.
him advice I would strongly suggest a viewing of a true cinéma vérité film in
which he may wish to emulate. Eric Rohmer or the Dardenne Brothers masterpieces
are able to convey their message to the audience and are still devoid of any
special effects or even artificially induced noises that are not part of the
natural sounds of the environment where it was filmed. These directors were able
to establish themselves without
over utilization of cinematography adaptations such as tracking shots, jump
cuts, reverse angles and certainly no CGI enhancement.
to capture the audience’s attention span (albeit limited in western culture)
he should focus his efforts on a cohesive plot, building within episodes that
explore his harsh message. The poor production values and his attempt to
exaggerate them to their furthest abilities only bring prevalence to their
inferior quality. Instead of pushing his meager limits he should celebrate their
Spartan independent-ness with pride. The goals he sets out to portray are noble
but his efforts only appear as a wannabee at this stage and his overuse of
poor-taste graphic imagery force him to be grouped in the mindless sophomoric
production category that his film so accurately resembles. Finally, this boy
needs to go on a diet for the sake of his health.
Independent Region 0 DVD - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
Click logo to order from:
|Distribution||Independent Region 1 - NTSC|
Original Aspect Ratio ( we assume )
Average Bitrate:6.68 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
Butchering a Tony Curtis Laserlight DVD introduction and dubbing over it is no way to start a relationship with your audience. The quality of the image and sound as expectantly poor. This should be no surprise, but I'll wager a fair effort to get out and his efforts producing a meagar film and DVD should at least be applauded. Unfortunately the only true test of worth is longevity and until he overcomes his expressive demons of jealousy and low self-worth he should not hold his head too high. I'm thankful I saw it and surprised that I stayed awake, but cinema has so much more to offer. This DVD is horrible in every technical sense. stars out of Gary Tooze