Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Not too long ago I reviewed the film ‘Bloodline’ which I noted that despite its meager budget, the filmmakers of that ‘in da hood’ flick knew what they were doing as things like sound, composition, and framing were executed with skill and care. I can’t say that about this movie ‘Human Nature’ which has emerged from our heroes at The Asylum. If there’s a filmmaking rule to found, the creators behind ‘Human Nature’ found it, shattered it, then picked up the broken pieces and shattered those too. Though the movie was generally awful, it did have some things going for it that could be rectified by a few semesters at a decent film school. That probably still wouldn’t qualify ‘Human Nature’ in the ‘good movie’ category, but it probably would have fixed that background hiss that was playing throughout the movie that prevented me from hearing most of what the characters were saying.

Our film opens with a close-up of a woman talking to a child about abuse by his or her father as we can’t see the child. 22 years later we follow a woman from the subway to her apartment then up the elevator – all the way up as I could have used a cutaway about now, into her apartment where she changes into some hooker clothes then into the elevator, all the way down and then out the door where she enters some vehicle.

When we next see this woman she is strung up in a garage beaten and bloodied as she has been summarily tortured by our Anti-Hero Harry (Donny Lucas). Harry gets a call from his wife on the intercom that breakfast is ready, so he politely excuses himself and enjoys breakfast with his wife Debra (Dana McLoughin). Dana’s none too happy with Harry as it’s the weekend and he’s off to work, and this after spending countless hours in his garage, but Harry explains that this glorious life they live has to be funded somehow so off to work he goes. While at work the rather short tempered Harry

brutalizes pesky colleague Dick (Jerry Bannister) and punches the slutty Karen in the face, who he’s having an affair with. On his way home Harry picks up a new prostitute to torture in Janese (Cynthia Potvin). Janese is quite the troublesome whore as she is always trying to escape and stuff, thus making it even worse on herself, but at least her pimp Tyrell (Kevan Oshtji) is looking for her – somebody may want teach my man how to hold a gun. Then everything kind of ends in a way.

With the exception of the performances of stars Donny Lucas and Cynthia Potvin this was a completely amateurish production crafted by director Vince D’ Amato. The sound in this movie was simply terrible which almost always is the hallmark of a home made camcorder production. I don’t know what was causing that awful hiss that permeated the bulk of this movie, but maybe my man could have run this through Sound Forge a couple of times and get some noise reduction going on this thing. I just want to hear what your characters are saying man, that’s all. You might also want to make sure that I can’t see you’re shadow as you’re holding the camera moving across the room. Just a suggestion as I am no filmmaking expert. I would also suggest that maybe certain scenes could be compressed a bit, like watching the hooker ride up and down the elevator. Let’s say we watch her go in and then we watch her come out. I realize that Moonlight Sonata was playing in the background but it wasn’t necessary for me to hear the whole song as I’m fairly familiar with it and I wouldn’t have minded an early fade out one little bit. Not one little bit at all. And what happened to the gun totin’ floozie was with my man Tyrell the pimp? Shouldn’t she have been there having his back when he went to go see Harry? That wasn’t good lookin’ out.

Yes, this film was fairly awful but I did like the performance of Donny Lucas as the deranged Harry. He chose to play Harry completely straight and normal, made it clear early on that his character of Harry does have a bit of temper in his possession and he delivered his lines in a very amusing deadpan fashion while dealing with his abusees. One note though, in the beginning Harry was shaving with a disposable Bic shaver. Black men generally can’t use those, unless they’re incredibly sadomasochistic. Which I guess we can assume Harry is. Also Cynthia Potvin played the role of the spunky ho who eventually came to accept her unfortunate fate quite well too.

Hey Vince, I’m not trying to disrespect a brother because you’ve made way more movies than I have, but ‘Fix it in Post’ are more than just words my man.

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