Waxing, increasingly coveted restrictions force filmmakers to solve them if they want to work at all. While one might admire their enterprise, to this day most of these endeavors would seem to be very interesting as art or entertainment, let alone their cast and locations to be kept to a minimum outside of any conceptual gimmick novelty. An exception last year was the hit “Host” streaming, which provided a fun and scary journey even though the idea of a demonic presence was similar to other recent horror episodes by a group attacking Zoom Call. Its success was particularly significant because the film did not even reach feature length, lasting only less than an hour.
Taking a full-minute break আছে okay, if you count the total 11 dedicated to the final credit হল is “Dashcam,” which reunites director Rob Savage and his “host” co-authors. Again, their hook is covid-related, though instead of dutifully dealing with the growing characters, this time the narrative is led by a harmful epidemic denier who has blown up all infection-prevention protocols.
His careless journey gives a larger, more action-packed canvas here, although it is still made with a “found footage” essence চলচ্চিত্র the film was filmed by Savage and cast members (no DP credits) on the iPhone. That lost format brings mixed rewards, though, as “dashcams” do the real bizarre business of “hosting” to present inconsistent political satire, supernatural dangers, and near-endless physical dangers often inconsistently by the work of handheld cameras. The results are fun and tiring at once. It’s not scary, and many viewers will test the character of their patience that they most hope will lead to the quick death of the one we’re mainly stuck with.
Between the blurred line between on-screen fiction and off-screen reality, Los Angeles-based musician Annie Hardy plays herself, but is cartoonishly exaggerated. He is best known for his work on “Band Car” live streaming, a real series that has been billed as the “# 1 Live Improved Music Show Broadcast Moving Vehicle on the Internet”. It’s a ridiculous, childish repetition of Hardy (who has also faced indie rock band Giant Drag since 2003), apparently driving hard, improving raps in a synth groove as his followers are persuaded by the flow of comments, occasionally making a pedestrian shout that flow obstruction. Ridiculously ridiculous, ridiculously britty and truly responsive. By all accounts here, that tenor is perfectly suited to a fan base, whose default response is “Show your kid.”
Surprisingly, this self-caricature contradicts the flaming liberal-style of all the policies imposed by Covid, which, as he puts it, is somehow a fake news conspiracy. Announcing that he was “escaping America’s extreme insanity”, he boarded a flight to a nearby empty LAX and landed at the London home of former collaborator El Strecho (Immortal Chada-Patel). Neither he nor his live-in girlfriend (Jemma Moore) is particularly happy to host this dazzling guest, who has been expelled so quickly for his broadcast and for the crime of “freedom”. She sees it, it’s just that she should have stolen her car then.
While in possession of these wheels, Annie is asked to take a seemingly weak, nute-sounding old woman, Angela (Angela Anahoro) to a certain place. Our visionary heroine agrees that enough money has been deposited. But the sick Angela brings up the problem – first a physical fluid gross eel, then anxious, homicidal and not very humane. Finally Stretcho shows up, tracking his parlored car. But he and Annie aren’t equipped to deal with the animal they’ve been saddled with, who proves to be an agent of deadly harm to anyone who crosses their combined path.
“Dashcam” doesn’t explain what happened to Angela, let alone what she caught (enough to call a performer The Parasite) or what her abilities are. But those capabilities are strong, which requires the deployment of VFX and stunt personnel. Together, those people acquire some excellent fantasy imagery in the film’s mis-live presentation.
Yet when one of Annie’s viewers wrote, “I can’t see what’s going on,” we’re all very sympathetic to her complaint. As the crisis unfolds over the crisis, with actors holding cameras in all states of physical movement, what we see is often confusingly chaotic. A final context in the country estate introduces interesting elements, but they also seem random and indescribable. Then the narrative stops, and we get many minutes of hardy improvising entertaining teen rap in response to the closing cast and crew credits.
As a showcase for him, “Dashcam” might be a little better thing-he’s an acting character, but this character is so obviously annoying that it deliberately turns the whole movie into a standup routine. As the transmission of Trump’s belligerent-unknown politics that only grew during Covid’s time (and also spread beyond the United States), the impact is far-reaching and shocking. While otherwise well-acted and well-made, Savage’s film is influenced by this Gorgon personality, it can’t help feeling like an extravagant comedy sketch. Where the “host” was short and sweet (as well as awesome), the over-the-top “dashcam” felt more than just 66 minutes long before it logged pre-final credits. It’s a cute stunt – yet, not so cute that it can’t wear its welcome.