Tag Archives: Zalman King

Lake Consequence (1993, Rafael Eisenman)

For a late night cable movie–how’s that description for a euphemism–Lake Consequence is shockingly okay. It runs ninety minutes (to facilitate more airings, undoubtedly) and it actually runs too long. The film’s at its best during the final third, when hunky tree trimmer Billy Zane has to get the bored housewife he’s been dallying around with (Joan Severance) back to her family.

Actually, without the middle, where Severance gets sucked into Zane’s absurdly sensual lifestyle–which includes Hollie L. Hummel as Zane’s lady friend and a small California mountain town entirely populated by Chinese people–it might even be good. Why is this small town important? So there can be a parade and a bathhouse and truly some amazing editing.

That sensual middle is a narrative waste of time and lengthy enough it plods, but between Harris Savides’s photography, the editing from James Gavin Bedford and Curtis Edge and George S. Clinton’s score, it’s wonderful filmmaking. Besides being too long, the problem–at least as far as how the narrative incorporates it–is the symbolism. Director Eisenman–and, to be fair, the script–goes overboard with the symbolism. Instead of Severance getting to act, she instead makes outlandish symbolic gestures.

They’re way too much and they drag the movie down. Until she and Zane get on the road, anyway.

Zane’s good in the mysterious romance novel stranger role, Severance is good, Hummel is terrible (so’s her part). Whip Hubley’s awful as Severance’s husband.

Consequence is accomplished (with qualifications).

1/4

CREDITS

Directed by Rafael Eisenman; screenplay by Zalman King, Melanie Finn and Henry Cobbold, based on a story by MacGregor Douglas; director of photography, Harris Savides; edited by James Gavin Bedford and Curtis Edge; music by George S. Clinton; production designer, Dominic Watkins; produced by Avram ‘Butch’ Kaplan; aired by Showtime.

Starring Billy Zane (Billy), Joan Severance (Irene), Hollie L. Hummel (Grace), Courtland Mead (Christopher), Dan Reed (Xiao) and Whip Hubley (Jim).


RELATED

Advertisements

The Passover Plot (1976, Michael Campus)

For the first few scenes, Alex North definitely composes The Passover Plot like a big Biblical epic of the fifties. It’s not, of course, and not just because Plot’s from the seventies. It’s cheap and director Campus uses that reduced budget interestingly. Maybe not well, but definitely interestingly. Actors get close-ups when they don’t need them, there aren’t any establishing shots for scene transitions (not right away anyway) and there’s no expository dialogue. The only frames of reference for the viewer are the opening and closing text scrawls. Plot feels like a low budget, subversive seventies movie, which is actually an exact description.

It just happens to be about Jesus.

Or Yeshua. I’m not sure if they went with Yeshua for accuracy or to be less controversial. Even though the film–with Plot right there in the title–is about how Yeshua (played by Zalman King) decides to fake his resurrection, he’s still really cares about people. It’s like if Jesus wasn’t magic and was just a good guy.

King’s effective, but not exactly good. There isn’t a lot of room to act in Plot, not with Campus’s strange choices regarding pacing and then there’s the script. It jumps all over the place and never gives the viewer a comfortable grounding.

Harry Andrews is a lot of fun, chewing away at the scenery, and Donald Pleasence is pretty good.

For what the filmmakers attempt, Plot’s a moderate success.

Except Adam Greenberg’s photography; he lights it too dark.

1.5/4★½

CREDITS

Directed by Michael Campus; screenplay by Millard Cohan and Patricia Louisianna Knop, inspired by the book by Hugh J. Schonfield; director of photography, Adam Greenberg; edited by Dov Hoenig; music by Alex North; produced by Wolf Schmidt; released by Atlas Film.

Starring Harry Andrews (Yohanan the Baptist), Hugh Griffith (Caiaphas), Zalman King (Yeshua), Donald Pleasence (Pontius Pilate), Scott Wilson (Judah), Daniel Ades (Andros), Michael Baseleon (Mattai), Lewis Van Bergen (Yoram), William Paul Burns (Shimon), Dan Hedaya (Yaocov), Helena Kallianiotes (Visionary Woman), Kevin O’Connor (Irijah), Robert Walker Jr. (Bar Talmi) and William Watson (Roman Captain).


RELATED