Reflections of Evil (2002)

Genres - Avant-garde / Experimental  |   Sub-Genres - Surrealist Film, Trash Film  |   Run Time - 138 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Donald Guarisco

Watching Reflections of Evil is a true experience. Director/star Damon Packard deploys a unique mixture of found footage, on-the-street guerilla theater, and psychedelic editing to bowl the viewer over. Unfortunately, Packard gets too caught up in these techniques and never uses his bag of tricks to convey a story or a message. As a result, the long, repetitive stretches of Packard having conniption fits and being assaulted by various feral city dwellers lose their grotesque power and become numbing. The end result is as excessive and self-indulgent in its own underground-movie way as the Hollywood product Packard seems to be railing against. There are a few genuinely witty moments in there, the best being a hilarious tête-à-tête between the main character and his mother over his eating habits, but getting to these moments is a long, arduous slog for even the most patient viewers. Ultimately, Reflections of Evil is more successful as an endurance test than it is as a film.