LUCKY. 2002
Director: Steve Cuden

. 1998
Director: Jaimz Asmundson

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

LuckyFor the majority of people on this fool planet, we've done all all most profound thinking by around age thirteen.

Afterward. we either forget it all or spend the rest of our lives rehashing the same three or four adolescent answers to the meaning of the universe.

Flabby antisocial alcoholic Millard (ably played by Michael Emanuel) is easing into middle age but only just now beginning to have the profundity of a teenager.

As he drinks & drives, we hear his continuous mental narration, addressed either to himself to the viewer, on his philosophy of the subjectivity of reality. He's thinking about much else, but only the subjectivity of reality has any baring on the tale.

He's a man who once made a marginal living writing scripts for cartoon shows, which I'd say reflects his emotional age correctly.

LuckyHe was never good at it, & is presently never sober long enough to get any of the work done. In his own mind, his problem isn't alcoholism but a regular writer's block.

Suddenly he runs over a little dog. It's making pathetic whimpering sounds when he brings it home hoping to nurse it back to health, then fails to realize it died.

It has a name-tag. It's name is the same as the film's, vis, Lucky (2002). When Lucky has gotten so rank & rotten he can no longer pretend the dog might get better, he takes the corpse into the back yard to bury it.

That's when Lucky springs to life healthy as you please, with no evidence, as formerly, of his guts hanging out. And the amazing thing is that Lucky can communicate telepathically (voiced by David Reivers). He's one rude little s.o.b., & begins to take over Millard's life, which could well be for the better since Millard was screwing things up on his own.

Essentially Millard is an unemployed dickweed, with fantasies ongoing in his mind of avenging himself against the world by killing women, including a bible thumper at the door (Sadie Pray), a rude bitch in a wheelchair (Romelia Bellah), a transvestite date (Kevin L. Bright), the delivery girl (Jillian Bach), & others who try to make a viewer-impression before their brief appearances end.

LuckyHe's never had a friend, & Lucky as the closest thing is so telepathically abusive he's hardly man's best friend as he claims.

Lucky badgers & maltreats Millard into drinking less, cleaning the sea of beer cans out of the house & back yard, & forces him to get back to writing cartoon screenplays. The dog even provides the plotlines & narrates most of the content for the scripts, better ones that Millard used to write on his own.

It's already well established that Millard lives a partially hallucinatory life, so we don't have to believe Lucky communicates in this way. But it seems pretty certain the dog, at least, does exist, because other people see it, unless (as is possible) the other peoples' experiences are also being hallucinated by Millard.

At one point Lucky even communicates with Misty (Piper Cochrane), Millard's improbable girlfriend. Still, we're not supposed to know what, if anything, is actually occurring in this subjective reality. Even when Millard is not present, he may still be hallucinating or dreaming what's going on with Lucky.

Millard's career bounces back better than ever. He wrote lame screenplays before, but now he's going gangbusters. He fantasizes constantly about Misty, his imaginary girlfriend. The barrier between his fantasies & the real world further breaks down when he meets the real-life Misty, though he thought he'd only dreamed her up.

She's a pleasant woman who doesn't judge Millard as harshly as he merits, so he's in love. But the relationship never becomes physical, so he has to continue his fantasy life, which is increasingly violent in nature.

LuckyHis fantasy of Misty's happy-go-lucky response to being tied up & threatened with certain death is an especially lively, funny section of the film.

The day Lucky communicates with Misty is the day Lucky kills her & buries her in the back yard while Millard is out shopping. Which is something that seems highly unlikely really to have occurred since Lucky is such a little dog.

It's a long time before Millard learns what Lucky did, & discovers there are many other corpses buried in the back yard too. Though Lucky couldn't possibly have done what he boasts to having done even if he were real, we the viewers just don't know. Obviously it can't be coincidental that the dead women are the same ones Millard had periodically fantasized murdering.

Lucky will kill again, but will also insist Millard kill women & bring him fresh meat, which Millard does. Throughout we never have a clue what's real though it seems probable Misty was never his girlfriend so Lucky never talked to her, & there is no outside evidence but her that Lucky even exists.

The only thing that makes even partial sense is Millard killed all the women all along & Lucky was only his imaginary slave-driver friend. But this is where adolescent philosophy seriously applies, all reality being each individual's subjective experience.

The film has no ending to speak of. There's a quick, final act that precedes the credits, very unsatisfactory as a close. But in all, as no-budget gore films go, this one has a couple bits that really are funny, & the relationship between Millard & Lucky is entertaining. ANd here's even the one well-played funny character, Misty, who was way more interesting than Millard.

Lucky won a half-dozen awards at specialty conventions for micro-cinema & horror movies, as it's so rare to see anything in the slasher category that isn't the same old thing. The film is quite a winner for devotees of sleezy cheapie independent horror, transcending the worst, even if it might not be good enough to appeal to non-fans who have no interest in schlock.

50 Foot Chihuahua Gigantic chihuahua Ihen is leader of a warrior race of canines. He has arrived on planet Earth, plotting world domination, in a short film from Quebec, Attack of the 50 Foot Chihuahuas from Outer Space (1998).

Very simple FX are used to make Ihen stomp through town to a Godzilla footsteps sound effect. It's a sweet looking dog, but chubby Kyle (Kyle Lemke) points up in the sky, runs like hell for his car, which won't start.

So he leaps from the car, runs down a snowy sidewalk, & when Ihen almost catches up to him, he drops & roles on his back submissively. The giant dog then lifts his leg & pees on Kyle.

50 Foot ChihuahuaA year later Ihen is again coming to earth, bringing his back-up army of two chihuahuas, Flash & Brown. We see them in their flying saucer spinning through space, looking rather like puppies in a dented tin dog bowl.

Kyle meanwhile is in hypnotherapy with an amazingly ridiculous shrink, having developed a phobia about chihuahuas. The therapist hypnotisees him with an urge to visit Bikini Beach, where he heads off with all his loser buddies. While dancing the jerk & the swim, giant chihuahuas ruin the party by peeing on everyone.

Ihan is played by female dog (Meg), so in order to get her to lift her leg male-dog style, you can actually see a string attached with which to pull her leg upward.

This is an entirely amateur production from a director whose films are always well-received at film festivals because very, very funny, influenced by such rebel artists as Nick Zedd & John Waters (indeed the psychiatriast in Giant Chihuahuas seems to be attempting to impersonate John Waters).

You can watch this film at youtube, a well-spent eight minutes. Many of Jaimz Asmundson's short comedies can also be had on dvd, Giant Chihuahuas included on Dirty Undies Vol. 1 (2006) with five other short films plus extras, including commentary.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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