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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. David Buchanan

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

CLERKS meets TETSUO in a visual nightmare that takes no prisoners. LAGUNA AVE is not for mainstream viewers who will easily pick apart the low budget, terrible acting performances and so bad, they are laughable wardrobe choices. This is a film for late night parties and retracting the brain from any semblance of cognitive storytelling.

It's hard to avoid how low budget this film is however David Buchanan never tries to hide it, in fact, LAGUNA AVE lives upto it's own hype for if it's already grabbed your attention, you know the visceral trip you are heading on.

Russell Steinberg is a one handed, good for nothing boyfriend who's partner leaves having just about enough of his laziness. In the following days, he goes further down the pits of despair as he discovers a criminal gang who believe the end of the world is coming and they have the ability to cancel it through robotics. Giving Steinberg a HELLBOY like metal fist only encourages him to follow them and their mission to end the organisation that is set to destroy humanity.

Unfortunately there are and will be natural comparisons to technology meets horror film TETSUO and those comparisons pretty much end at the theme and style of LAGUNA AVE. Unfortunately if you're looking for anything near as terrifying as Shin'ya Tsukamoto's masterpiece then you are best looking elsewhere although we've yet to see anything match to the horror of that film. the film is a comedy first and a science fiction nightmare last, somewhere in the middle there's something crammed in that takes the time as the elements of horror are reserved to a turbulent scene at the very end and a drug infused sequence at the halfway point. By the time we meet silver suit wearing antagonist Gary, the world inhabited by LAGUNA AVE is sheer gonzo madness with the screen presence taken over by Markham Hall Jr. who really hams up his villainous role. But this is not a film that will win awards for it's story, instead it's more of a distraction from the repetitive reels of film released today. And what the hell happens in the last 5 minutes really is anyone's guess.

LAGUNA AVE doesn't have a lot to say but with some choice performances and a knowingly camp swagger, there's much to adore here, even if it's to indulge in the comedy rather then the sci-fi horror.

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