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Oxford Film Fest Review: The Scenesters

February 4, 2010

By Melody Watson

They say that everyone in Los Angeles wants to break into the movies, in the case of this uber-meta comedy, even the killer is killing for face time.  The movie begins as director Wallace Cotten is “cut off” and has to get a real job.  He is hired to film crime-scenes for the LAPD.  Unsatisfied with simply filming the crime-scenes, his producer, Roger, decides that they can spruce up the videos and go from being “a Los Angeles crime-scene videographer” to “the Los Angeles crime-scene videographer.”  When clean-up guy Charlie realizes that the last two murders are connected, Cotton and Roger decide that they have their detective and a film noir documentary in the making.

Todd Berger, the director, writer, and actor keeps things surprisingly suspenseful and completely ridiculous.  With a good script that doesn’t give too much away and actors with great timing, he has a real winner here.  There is a lot going on here, it spoofs on slasher flicks, court tv, detective movies, and artsy documentaries all while switching cameras and perspectives.  At it’s core its mostly a biting satire of all those lost souls in Los Angeles who would kill for their big break.

Random cameos by John Landis, Sherilynn Finn, and Bob Vance (Vance Refrigeration) make the movie feel more big budget and the camera work jumps around so effectively that you don’t mind that it looks like an indie movie.  It’s very funny, and I think that this one definitely has cult classic potential.

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