Completely Totally Utterly
Cast: Walter W. O'Neil, Zach Ward
Not very long ago, I was over at one of my favorite
Bad Movie Report, and I saw that one of the movies reviewed on that
page was provided via a mailed promo copy. Struck with severe misery
no one had ever sent me a promo video, I was about to descend
that severe endless spiral of self inflicted hell that tears you
like a thousand shards of broken glass while visions of those you most
despised to the power of ten circle you laughing mocking shrieking
insulting damning lashing torturing, when soon after I got a e-mail
someone asking if they could send me a video copy of their own 16 mm
Why not? The Unknown Movies is always seeking a variety of
to review, even if it does seem at times it has a bias towards movies
people are blasted with shotguns, beaten up, and cut into big bloody
with squirts of blood shooting out everywhere. And this page has always
had an unwritten policy to review any promo videos of movies received.
Hint hint. Plus, you can't get more unknown that someone's "homemade"
"A dark comedy", states the small media release from
Wet Process Productions of Completely Totally Utterly.
movie centers around two roommates and best friends, Brent and Chad.
a down on his luck youth, convinces Chad to help him dig up a freshly
corpse at the neighborhood cemetery, so they can use it as a macabre
for their Halloween party. The party is a success, with the corpse
the partygoers the macabre shock that Brent and Chad hoped for. But
the party, problems start to arise. After another tenant in the
complex tells the buddies that the cops have staked out the building
of a suspected sex pervert living inside, Brent and Chad can't sneak
corpse out of the building. A guest at the party starts blackmailing
when he learns they still have the corpse. Meanwhile, as a number of
things start happening in Brent's life, Chad's personal life goes to
- is the corpse responsible?
On the technical side, Completely Totally Utterly
average when it comes to productions of this kind. One problem I have
16 mm productions is that they are usually poorly lit, especially when
it comes to night scenes. Except for one or two shots, the night scenes
here are surprisingly well lit, so you can see enough of what's
to understand what's going onscreen. Daytime and indoor scenes also
adequate lighting. The steadicam work is very smooth as well, up to
levels. Writer/director Hwang was also smart enough to write a story
involved easily accessible locations needing little to no set
As a result, the low budget overall isn't very evident, except for a
in a hospital that provides unintended amusement, because it was
shot a long way from an actual hospital, and using some shabby props.
only other technical flaws that bothered me were some sequences with
audio (scenes with several cuts sometimes gave the dialogue changing
quality), and there were so many fade-to-black sequences (another
associated with low budget movies) that it became annoying. In fairness
to Hwang, he was obviously working with a very low budget and limited
and I was impressed with what he could successfully pull off with what
he had. In fact, I'm even prepared to forgive the editing goofs in the
scene where one of the buddies plays a Super Nintendo machine. In
one shot, the TV set is turned off though the guy is still playing, and
there's a close-up shot in the sequence with hands around a controller
from the previous Nintendo system!
The level of acting by the amateur cast is overall good.
Ward are believable as two 20ish friends who haven't completely left
their teenaged sides. There are several conversations in the movie
they talk about a wide range of topics, like Conan the Barbarian, or
time when 8 year old Brent was forced by his mother to be nice to some
bullies (one of the highlights). The dialogue has a definite influence
from Clerks, though the topics covered here are
to earth and less flip. Some of their dialogue does occasionally comes
across as too self-conscious, or spoken like they are reading from the
script, but they manage the bulk of their dialogue well. Most
their characters of Brent and Chad come across as likable and
guys, even if what they did was a crime. Movie's secondary characters
believable and likable as well, though the actress who plays the
Mary deserves most of the notice. The actress playing her is fabulous,
and she is blessed with the movie's funniest (and grossest) scene, when
she tells Brent and Chad what the building's pervert said that he'd
to do to her.
The big problem with the movie - that makes it a near
miss - is the
script. The script isn't really awful; in fact, the movie usually
to be lightly amusing throughout, with many kooky vignettes. And that's
the problem; there are too many vignettes, and not enough story.
enough story and comedy in Completely Totally Utterly to
make a funny 30 to 45 minute short, but at 93 minutes this runs way too
long. Instead of focusing on the problem with having a corpse in the
(which hasn't started to stink even after a month has passed) and
trying to get rid of it while these misfortunes happen to the
the corpse is left in the closet and mostly forgotten. The movie then
a quasi-tragedy with Chad's life falling apart, while his unlucky
life gets better. There are attempts to try to tie this subplot with
corpse, suggesting that possibly the corpse may have a part in this,
these attempts are so weak as to be almost non-existent.
Besides avoiding having the heart of the screenplay
around the corpse,
the movie also has a number of scenes that either don't make sense
do nothing to advance the story. Granted, the story - what there is of
it - is moving pretty slowly already, but these scenes stick out
There's one scene when a Jamaican breaks into the apartment demanding
corpse, and gets into a fight with one of the two friends before being
driven away. The incident is spoken about for one or two lines in the
scene, and then is completely forgotten for the rest of the movie. What
was the point of that scene? And how did the Jamaican know about the
Another sequence, when Chad visits the pervert to check him out is
(the pervert gives Chad some pants and tells him he can try them on
there), but doesn't really accomplish anything. In fact, though most of
these unnecessary scenes do bring some amusement, they overall don't
accomplish anything else.
I imagine that these problems became evident to Hwang
during the editing
process. If he were to write another screenplay, I'm pretty sure he
remember the script problems from this movie, and make an extra effort
to avoid them. Though this present movie isn't a success, he shows some
promise, and hopefully next time he'll have a stronger script (as well
as an adequate budget) that will allow his talents to fully shine.
powerful enough computers with G3 installed can download Completely
Totally Utterly at http://www.bijoucafe.com)
Check for availability on Amazon.
Also: Video Violence, Video Violence 2, Your
Three Minutes Are Up