Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Film GeekMelik Malkasian Directed by James Westby
Reviewed by Byron Merritt



Watching something like FILM GEEK makes me feel good. Sometimes I sense my social skills slipping, but watching Melik Malkasian play Scotty Pelk in this flick boosted my confidence several rungs. You see, I’m into films, too (pretty obvious since you’re reading this on a film review site, eh?) Undoubtedly, I compared some aspects of the Pelk persona with myself. Thankfully, I couldn’t make many connections (Whew!)

Pelk is a video store employee with an encyclopedic knowledge of film and film history. Trouble is that’s all he knows (he even has a zero-hit website devoted to film reviews, film history, and comparative film theory). He drives everyone around him nutso. Employees. Store patrons. Passersby on the street. No one is immune to Pelk’s social ineptness. And dark days are headed his way. He’s fired from the video store and is forced into a job at an auto-parts warehouse where he continues his film history harassment to anyone within earshot. But then he runs into Niko (Tyler Gannon, THUMBSUCKER), a funky artist who takes a strange liking to Pelk. They meet. They go out. And Pelk becomes enraptured to the point of stalking. He’s so infatuated with her that he masturbates daily into his bathroom sink while staring at her picture. Obviously this isn’t going to work. When Niko’s old boyfriend shows back up, Pelk is on the outs again and has a meltdown. He tears up his little apartment and falls back into more masturbatory behavior ...only to have his phone ring. On the other end is a newspaper editor who wants to do an article on him and his website. The FILM GEEK becomes an overnight success, his website gets massive hit numbers, and movie-goers comment on his accurate film assessments. Even Niko comes back to him ...or does she?

Director James Westby lets us make up our own minds about what happened in the end. Did the FILM GEEK actually become popular? Or was his mind spewing forth fantasies while he let loose his physical emissions into the sink? The dark humor is deftly handled (no pun intended) and the scenes involving Pelk’s discovery of his own social limitations are pulled off very well.

Comparisons to NAPOLEON DYNAMITE are appropriate here. Both movies had limited budgets. Both had quirky characters with poor interpersonal relationships. Both main characters succeed (?) due to the very thing that makes them so dysfunctional.

Although FILM GEEK had lower production standards than Napoleon Dynamite, FILM GEEK certainly ranks up there with it in terms of script, acting, and freaky character development.

Click here for the Film Geek movie trailer!


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