The Horror Zine Review
A Snout Productions Film
Director: Caleb Straus
A Film by Caleb Straus
Review by C. Dennis Moore
Snout Productions is doing something very interesting with their It’s Over project. According to their website, “The idea since the inception of It’s Over was to tell the story across multiple mediums. The impending graphic novel, It’s Over: Tribulations, is the first step in the attempt to create not a film, but a world. As has been stated, the film It’s Over is the first step into what will hopefully become an immersive mythology and will be another step toward the reinvention of how a story is told, and where the lines between marketing and art blur and become one.”
Having seen the film, I can say they’re off to a strong start.
It’s Over is 69 minutes in length, and centers on Mary Cortez (Reverend Angela Finley), a theology teacher, and Zane Enzo (Errich Petersen), lead singer and songwriter for the mega-hit band Plus. Both have been having strange encounters with a mysterious figure who tells them he’s their “guardian angel,” but the vibe they get from this guy tells them he’s anything but. Truth is, this is Lucifer, come to collect their souls.
But first, he’s got a story to tell them. In the beginning, when Lucifer sat at the right hand of God, he fell in love with a woman, Eve. One day Adam lashed out at Eve and Lucifer struck him down. Millions of years later, Zane Enzo discovers he is the son of Lucifer and Eve. Mary discovers she also has a connection to the whole thing, and they must now both use their knowledge to survive the impending apocalypse.
I admire the hell out of the scope of Snout Productions’ goals with this story, as well as the story itself. The element of Lucifer having fallen in love with Eve in the Garden of Eden is really original, unexpected, and a very welcome addition to this particular subgenre.
As a film, It’s Over has its moments of successes and missteps. Like I said, the premise is brilliant, one of those ideas I wish I’d thought of. The music is another plus. Written and performed by writer/director Caleb Straus and producer/editor Dustin Johnson, I found the music for the band Plus to be inventive and catchy while wearing its influences on its sleeve.
The negatives? It’s Over is shot on digital video, which has the effect sometimes of watching a local small town news program trying to produce a talk show. The good intentions are there, but the execution is just lacking a little bit.
The script, I felt, contained a couple of clichés (“Oh my God,” Mary exclaims when she’s suddenly saved from two would-be rapists, only to have her hero, Lucifer, intone “God had nothing to do with this.”) and while the acting was decent to very good throughout most of the film, there were hitches here and there. The writer/director also stars as the movie’s main protagonist, and I’ve always thought that maintaining any level of quality in a movie you’re both starring in and directing has got to be one of the most difficult things ever, so hats off to Straus.
It’s Over sometimes feels as if it’s cobbled together from bits and pieces of several similar films, some shot in color, some in black and white, some with actors, some with animation, some double exposures and some warped perspectives. And while I know that sounds distracting, it doesn’t take away from that very excellent and original premise in the least. I’m still shaking my head over it, and wishing I’d come up with the damned thing myself. I’m dumbfounded by it still.
To me the story is always the most important thing, and this story is definitely strong enough to carry the weight. Hell, apparently it’s strong enough to the carry the weight of several different media tie-in projects as well, and I have to say I am very interested by the mythology Straus and Johnson have created and I’m curious to see where it all goes from here.
If you go into It’s Over, never lose sight of the story--it’s a really good one and this film gets that really good story across.
Buy the DVD HERE.
About the Filmmaker
Caleb Straus is a director, writer, actor, producer and musician that makes up one half of the Multimedia company, Snout Productions. In addition to serving as director and writer to Snout's first film "It's Over", and writer and co-director for it's sequel "The Storybook", he also performs the role of Lucifer, and along with founding Snout member and producer Dustin Johnson, composes most of the score music. The two have also written aconjoining graphic novel, "It's Over: Tribulation", currently being published by Hopper Comics (www.hoppercomics.com).
About the Reviewer
C. Dennis Moore
C. Dennis Moore lives in St. Joseph, Missouri. He’s been writing just about forever with over sixty stories and novellas published, plus a collection of his short stories called Terrible Thrills. Recent and upcoming publications include the Vile Things anthology from Comet Press and his novella Epoch Winter will be published by Drollerie Press.