Piedra Papel o Tijera
Director: David Ray

Director: Parole Strane

Directors: Mariano Gomez & Carlos Bianchi

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

The Statement of Randolph Carter "A Dorks Production" is a pretty funny company name, as it indicates the specific darks responsible for this version of The Statement of Randolph Carter (2008) were a little more self-aware than most Lovecraftian micromovie filmmakers.

Most such keep making the same half-dozen stories over & over & over again, rarely bringing anything of quality or value to the umpteenth take. We are in the first generation of democratized microcinema, & the question is, will there continue to be a half-dozen versiosn of the same few stories made each year, or will lovecraftian micromovies mature with time?

The Dorks Production moniker suggests these guys are at least more aware of a certain element of retardation in the approach to Lovecraft adaption in fanfilms. This one isn't especially well done, but it tries to provide an original ending. Most such don't even try.

It's a simple digital film, very amateur, under seven minutes. Randolph Carter (William Readman, a pale young teenager with a military hairdo) voluntarily comes to the police to be interviewed. He knocks on the door. "Enter. Sit," says the interogator (David Ray) who is sitting at the dark end of the table, facing the wall. The police station consists of just this interrogation room immediately inside the entrance.

The Statement of Randolph CarterCarter tells what "might have been a hallucination or nightmare," but "it's what I remember." We go into a flashback, & as often happens with these no-talent micromovies, the night-for-night photography is just a black screen, with almost nothing registering on screen.

Warren (Jason Heaton) & Carter brought two flashlights & two shovels, & seemingly are digging in a random location in the pitch dark. They're actually in an Iowa City park. They found three granite slabs which Warren moved, being I guess a mighty-thewed barbarian though he looks like a fat boy.

Warren tells Randolph he can't enter the revealed underground place, "as you'll go insane." Randolph paces in the dark, with the unseen cameraman shining a light on his shoulder. He hears Warren cry out, "Carter!" which must be his ringtone as it induces him to answer his cellphone. He asks Warren what's up, & is told, "It's it's it's terrible. Horrible. But wonderful. It, no wait... Shit! Carter get out of here now!"

Warren screams & we're back in the interrogation room. Carter adds that he then heard a hollow unearthly voice. "I heard it coming up from the bowels of the earth," as opposed to on his cellphone I guess. "It said..."

The investigator sitting in the shadows interupts him. "I know what it said, Mr. Carter, it said, 'You fool, Warren is dead.'" The quote is hollow & unearthly. Ha ha! So that's why he's sitting the dark facing the wall! Why didn't Lovecraft think of that? Lovecraft was so dumb not to do it this way! The interrogator turns around to face Carter, who screams. The end!

Ain't it amazing how dumb these micromovies can be? But I'll prevail even in my investigative viewing! No matter how bad you guys get, you can't make me stop watching!

The Statement of Randolph Carter Rather faded color, with an effective soundtrack by Salvatore Arangio, this eight-minute version of The Statement of Randolph Carter (2007) stars Michael Gallio & Tomaso Ronda as Carter & doomed pal Harley.

Since this version was made in Italy one would expect the title to be in Italian. But the only title to appear on the film at all (the credits for which being otherwise very complete) is when citing Lovecraft's original tale in English.

Although the two actors speak Italian, dialogue is minimal & the content familiar enough we don't need to subtitles.

Carter & his pal are strolling across the countryside at a leisurely pace. They arrive at a cavern (instead of the usual crypt) & argue, as Harley doesn't want Carter to continue into the depths with him. They set up a telephone receiver to keep in touch while Warren descends into darkness, but then they never keep in touch.

There's a tedious silent strole with lantern that even bores Carter. When it starts raining he yells into the phone, but gets no answer. The film ends at this point as if it thinks the story is now sufficiently told. There's really not much to this one.

Piedra Papel o Tijera Piedra Papel o Tijira (Rock, Paper, Scissors, 2002) is a four minute Italian film, not subtitled, but once again the story is easily followed if you've read "The Statement of Randolph Carter" or at least seen a couple other microfilm versions.

A man we may assume is Randolph (David Ortega) & woman (Alexandra Puy) are in a subterranean location dressed rather oddly, like New Wavers from the 1980s. They play "rock paper scissors" to see who has to crawl into the narrow tube, & the girl wins -- or loses as the case may be.

Chivalry doesn't rule this one, & the guy stays behind in safety. The girl, Anna rather than the usual Harley, puts on a wacky hat that doesn't look like it'd be much use. Her friend calls out to keep in touch with the walkie-talkie.

Almost immediately they have an hysterical shouting conversation. We watch only the Randolph Carter character responding to the hysterics over the walkie-talkie, & even not knowing Italian, we know the scene well enough. It usually ends with some monster of a crypt speaking or growling through the walkie-talkie or telephone or cellphone, whichever the given filmmaker elects to use.

The actress does one of the finer vocal performances of any of these tiny Randolph Carter films. Her communications first end in screams & the chomping growling sound of something attacking. All goes silent, then we hear her again, weirdly calm & seductive & creepy. This is quite a good film for odd imagery & decent acting, & for once not the same lame interpretation usually seen.

Continue to yet another trio of microcinema takes on:
The Statement of Randolph Carter

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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