Director(s) – David Hollinshead and Philip Thompson
Starring – Lorraine Malby (Born to be King, Jack Says), Caryl Griffith, and Joerg Stadler (Lazarus Rising, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince)
Release Date – 2016
Rating – 2.5/5
Troma is a company that is near and dear to my heart. I first witnessed the greatness that is Troma when a friend picked up The Toxic Avenger on VHS. I watched it countless times the following week. When he asked for it back I was devastated. I was lucky enough to get the DVD box set that also included the Toxic Crusaders not long after so I can’t complain.
Troma has released some of my favorite indie flicks along with some that I can’t sit through. I recently had a triple feature with three new Troma releases. After watching the funny Middle Finger and the surprising melodramatic oddball release of The Thingy: Confessions of a Teenage Placenta it was time to move on to the sci-fi comedy Essex Spacebin. Was this going to be another fun one or would I be finishing up the movie marathon with a dud?
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Lorraine and her family as they struggle with being different. Lorraine was approached by a strange man when she was a child while playing on the beach where she learned about outer space and portals hidden around the globe called stargates. She has spent her whole life dedicated to finding these stargates and proving that there is something more outside this plain of existence. Her family deals with a lot from her but in the end is she right or is there a mental illness plaguing her?**Spoiler Alert**
Essex Spacebin made me think I was going to watch a high-brow sci-fi comedy that would make the likes of Troma proud. Instead, we get a rather down to Earth flick that is almost sad at times.
The acting in this one is fun. The cast shows a lot of heart and dedication to their role but their inexperience and lack of direction makes some of the scenes fall flat. The cast seems to have their head in the right spot but a lot of the scenes lack emotions. The cast just spits out their dialogue and the story moves on.
The story for this one is more dramatic than comedy unlike the artwork portrays. The film, though the acting lacked it, was rather sad. The film’s protagonist clearly suffers from a mental illness and succumbs to several traps including internet scams following a Rasta intergalactic guru who she pays monthly. This was rather sad.
The film offsets this bleak angle with some rather over the top characters that do offer up some humor that lightens the film up. With that being said, some of the scenes were rather pointless and difficult to sit through. The pacing was all wrong and these scenes made me want to turn the film off several times. It needs heavily re-edited.
Finally, this isn’t a bloody film. It does have some minor practical effects and a great deal of visual effects. Sadly, the visual effects are laughable which only adds more fuel to the fire. Overall, Essex Spacebin was one that I was looking forward to. Sadly, it was a let down. The comedy missed it’s mark and the story fell flat. The film couldn’t achieve what it set out to do.