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The Lying King (2009)

Theatrical Poster
Genres:
Comedy, Mystery, Whodunit
Director:
Wilbur Scott Wilbur Scott
Starring:
Wilbur Scott Wilbur Scott
Melissa H. Green Melissa H. Green

5.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Ginose
Added: December 09, 2009
I'm not the kind of fellow who jumps into a movie completely uninformed. Normally I do a bit of research on a film, occasionally read over the screenplays or, at the very least, check of the IMDb page or read the back of the case before deciding that it'd be a good choice of viewing for the evening. Sometimes, though, things as simple as that are not available to us, and we have nothing to go by but a few words on a website... So, I suppose we're just supposed to shit our pants and take a dive, right?

...right?

Well, having no knowledge of director/actor Wilbur Scott, or any of his works prior to this piece, I jumped at, what seemed to be, a fairly interesting premise listed in out "To Review" listing here on the ol' MvMMDI. Then, not long after, I was informed that the works of the man are most Seaver-ian in production and that I should be ready for what I was going to get. So, I eagerly awaited the production to reach my mail-box, so that I may either revel in the fun attempts at effective storytelling with little or no way of doing so, or cringe at the horrid mess of assembled scenes that could make Bunuel question his own narratives.

I received neither... what I watched on that disc... well, I'm not really sure how to explain it, so I'll start with the plot.

Fess has just been let-go from his cozy job as a "Team-Work Trainer" after an atrocious speech, and is removed from both his job (at his nephew's business) and his home (his nephew's garage). Pissed beyond all belief, the old bastard sets out and finds an empty room owned by a recently divorced landowner. After getting comfortable (and destroying his new residence's bathroom) he goes for a walk out on the 200-acre property, accidentally happening across a corpse and the potential masked murder standing above it. Rushing back to the home (as fast as an old man can hobble) he calls the cops only to discover that the body is missing and, of course, nobody believes him (being known as a notorious liar in the community). Fess realizes that the only way to prove both the crime had happened, as well as his own credibility, is to solve the case himself.

Sooooo... in summation, this is, indeed, a C-budget film. I mean, wow, some of the things they actually attempt to do in this one has me marveling at the sheer strangeness of the whole film. We do, indeed, get the entire story presented to us in a rather comedic fashion, most of the plot-points are covered quite well, everything that happens for a reason (no pussy-footing around in this 60-minute production), and a lot of the jokes are actually pretty funny. Still, this is by NO MEANS a perfect production.

Most of the jokes lie in the fact that the film is such a low-budget affair. Director Wilbur Scott plays the (pseudo-titular) role of Fess, and, for the most part, actually does it very well; he's funny, crotchety and even wrote in a few jokes poking fun at the fact such a young fellow is playing an old-man. A lot of the humor all throughout is pretty clever, however, there was nowhere near enough of it to fill an hour... so, the thrilling crime aspect is left to fill the rest and THAT is where most of the faults of this film come from.

The story is as simple as you could imagine and, for the most part, is covered in its entirety. However, it's simplicity is also a problem because half of the moments that are supposed to contribute some kind of clues or instances of intrigue make no fucking sense. They feel completely scrambled and some tossed in just for the sake of extending the movie (such as a "prank-call" and the result of it) so it just jerks us to and fro, ultimately leading us to an ASSUMED conclusion followed by the ACTUAL conclusion which can just go take a right turn at What-the-Fuck Avenue and leap off of Bullshit Point.

Yeah. That's where I'm drawing the final mark against this one: The fucking revelation at the end.

I can take the camcorder handy-work, I can take the occasional wind-noise caused by the faulty mic, I can even take some lame jokes that broke the mold of the good ones and just felt like they were shot after the movie was made, but that ending: FUCK. THAT. ENDING.

Of the dozen or so films that use this ending they at least leave some sort of hints or nods to it through out, this one just kind of teetered through to the ending and gave it to us like we were just supposed to accept it and walk on. Here's the thing: There were points in the movie where I was actually joking about it ending in such a way and, when it actually did, I wanted to choke myself. So, here's a public health notice:

STOP USING THAT ENDING. IT WORKS ON VERY RARE OCCASIONS. PEOPLE NEED TO THINK BEFORE THEY WRITE.

Thank you.

"The Lying King" is an hour long micro-budget film with enough ideas to fit a 25-minute indie flick, but it does so with a sense of humor worth admiring. It has... decent enough performances and a script tight-enough to last an hour, but the technical errors, teetering pace and FUCKING HORRID ENDING keep me from advising it to people. Either way, I look forward to a chance to see some of Scott's other work and any projects he has for us in the future... just so long as his ass thinks before he takes on more ridiculousness to the end of it.

5.1/10.
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