FORGOTTEN TRASH plus “The Apparition and Ms. Deleware” (2019)
Directed and written by Brandon Espana.
Starring Connor Mcdonald, Steve Kasan, Annaliese James, Nate Wilson, Keenan Howard, (plus Olivia Cugliari, Ali Shmaisani from “The Apparition and Ms. Deleware”)
A down and out film student named Daniel (Connor McDonald) happens upon a man in the woods (played by Steve Kasan). The man says he is making a movie and needs a new cameraman. The naïve Daniel jumps at the opportunity for some quick cash and a promise of fame, but when he finds out the man is actually an alien whose race feed on entertainment and that the entertainment involves hunting and killing humans, Daniel must make the ultimate ethical choice for fame.
Shot on video, FORGOTTEN TRASH plays as a throwback to the days of the all-popular video store and the backyard filmmaking it spawned. Yes, this is a film that is poorly lit, not acted with recognizable names, and filled with shoddy sound. There’s one scene where most of the dialog is drowned out because of a plane passing overhead. Still, what is evident in every frame is a pure love of cinema. It’s something mainstream films can’t harness. This film captures that dream of making a film, no matter how little money one might have. Through a very rudimentary film, that message of cinema love is announced loud and clear.
The two leads; Connor Mcdonald and Steve Kasan, work well together. I especially liked Kasan’s otherworldly stiffness and tense line delivery as the alien in human skin. There is also a soliloquy from McDonald that may not be the most fluid acting, but the message behind the hardship of trying to make it as a filmmaker really transcended the film itself. In FORGOTTEN TRASH, the interstellar entertainment industry is representative of how far away Daniel and the filmmaker’s dreams of making it seem to be.
The final act reveals the true face of the alien and while everything else looks DIY, the alien makeup itself looks absolutely fantastic. Wonderfully lit and creatively shot, the money was put into these effects and it was well spent. While there is a turn in Daniel’s character that feels a little forced, the story itself is well done and I really dug the way it all wrapped up. Clocking in at just under and hour, FORGOTTEN TRASH communicates a universally understood message of struggle to achieve one’s goals and does so without overreaching past what the budget permits.
FOGOTTEN TRASH is paired with another DIY, shot on video short called “The Apparition and Ms. Deleware” which pays wonderful homage to Michael Myers ghost disguise from the original HALLOWEEN, but sets it in a completely different story. Again, filmmaker Brandon Espana works shot on video magic, making the apparition look ominous and creepy. Those who appreciate do-it yourself and shot on video classics should seek out these highly creative chillers.