Bellflower (2011)

Your typical story of boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-then-starts-lighting-everything-on-fire.

This is the story of Woodrow (Evan Glodell) who has a best-friend named Aiden (Tyler Dawson), and both get ready for an apocalypse to hit with their own flame-throwers, cool gang clothes, and cool revved up car named “Mother Medusa”. Woodrow also starts to fall in love with a girl named Milly (Jessie Wiseman), and that’s where the shit really starts to stir.

Right from the start of this flick we get this fun, mumble core-like, buddy comedy that seems like it’s a fun date movie because it’s all about hanging out with your bestie and finding that loved one. However, one of the main curve balls that we are thrown in this film, is that it all starts fade away pretty quickly and turn into something I was not expecting in the least bit.

The film may be advertised as two dudes prepping themselves for the apocalypse but it’s more about the anti-love story this film has as well. What starts off as cute and cuddly romance between two strangers that meet at a cock-roach eating contest, turns into something that hurts, causes sadness, causes pain, and most of all causes our main dude, Woodrow to go effin’ insane. The fact that this guy gets hurt so painfully and goes through the problems that he goes through, really seems believable. It was also totally refreshing to see a dude not just look at this as a “new-beginning” and be all happy-go-lucky about it all, and instead be pissed, angry, violent, and downright hurt by everything. These are how real people feel when somebody toys with their emotions and if there’s any reason why men/women should not do such a thing, is just because you never know if somebody will go off and light everything on fire.

This film starts out as sweet but then drops right into downright dark territory, and it didn’t bother me that the film felt like doing this because it seemed realistic. One minute love can have you flying all-over-the-place, happy as a bird, but then the next minute it can make you feel like the world blows and that you just want to hurt someone or something and the way this film shows that hurt feels genuine rather than just random. We feel for these characters early on in the flick so that when all of this evil ish starts to happen to them we feel something towards them and everything that’s going on. With every little plot-twist comes every little amount of honesty that is easy to relate to, even as devastating and crushing as some of it may be.

The one kudos to be given out for this film working out so perfectly goes towards director/writer/star Evan Glodell who made a film that cost almost $17,000 to make, and is something that he practically did all by himself. Everything you see in this film is thanks to him and when I mean everything, I do mean his one-of-a-kind camera. Glodell makes L.A. look like the dirtiest, most slimiest, and most raunchiest place to look at just by using this camera that he apparently invented from a whole bunch of other camera parts. This gives the film a distinct look with its saturated colors and overall dirty glow that fits well with the story, especially when the tone does a total 180 with everything going from good, to bad, and then to worse. I also have never watched a movie that made me want to literally pop into the story with a wash rag, soap, and a hose and just give these people some showers. I mean Christ almighty!

My one problem with this film may seem a little strange at first but it honestly cannot go unnoticed. Everybody in this flick has their own houses (shitty ones at that), buys their own brewskies, drives their own cool muscle cars, and even creates their own flame-throwers, so the one thing that kept going through my mind the whole time was when did any of these damn people actually work? It may sound strange that this was the main thing that really bothered me but honestly, these people would go about their day doing just about nothing but somehow buy all of this shit when you don’t see or even hear them talking about work and getting their pay-checks. 1970’s muscle cars and flame-throwers aren’t cheap so they definitely had to be getting their moolah somewhere.

A while back when I reviewed ‘Rocky’, I talked about Stallone’s performance and how I felt like I was watching a real-person up on-screen rather than just another character. Well the weird thing to say is that for some reason, Glodell’s performance as Woodrow feels like the Italian Stallion’s as well in a totally different and weirder way. Woodrow is this happy, smiley, shy, and lovable dude that seems like an endearing dude that doesn’t mean any harm, other than to just meet a girl of his dreams. However, when that dream turns into a nightmare, his descent into a total mad-man feels real as if Goldell isn’t even acting in the first place and that he was actually pissed off himself. This guy is a strong-ass character, without us ever really getting to know him all that well other than the fact that he’s hurt and is damn sad about everything, which makes it easier to root him on the whole time. This guy not only shows his talents behind the camera for the whole hour and 45 minutes, but also shows that he has a real talent in front as well.

Tyler Dawson is also a lot of fun to watch his big-buddy, Aiden, and shows a lot of great comedic timing that usually comes easily with these “happy-dude” roles. Jessie Wiseman also deserves a lot of love for her performance for the apple of Woodrow’s eye, Milly, who is downright charming and likable from the start but soon turns into this chick that we did not expect and it’s a real great showcase for Wiseman’s talents as an actress as she does a lot here that many actresses probably would have not been able to do genuinely enough. I think everybody involved with this film has a very bright future ahead of them and I hope that this one puts them on the map and gets them all more roles. I’ll be looking for them.

Consensus: Bellflower starts off with a happy, little fairytale of love that soon turns into a dark, twisted, and borderline evil nightmare that has a distinct look, a script that covers a lot of ground without ever losing its direction, and a genuine and relatable feel that will shock some while providing solace to others knowing that they aren’t the only ones who just want to blow everything up when their heart is broken. Evan Glodell is definitely a talent to watch.

9/10=Full Price!!


  1. I recently bought this movie on bluray without ever seeing it in theaters thanks to craopy distribution but this such an amazing movie from first time writer and directors. Truly the best film to have come out in 2011

  2. Wow, seems to be like a must see. Fantastic review.

    There are too many films these days that tend to loose direction and it is refreshing to hear that this has a script that both covers lots of ground and manages to maintain direction.

  3. I really enjoyed this movie,some of the shots captured as well fried my brain, I’m sure you can guess which ones without me posting spoilers.Solid film that a lot of people didn’t check out enough in my opinion

  4. I love this movie. It was too low budget to make my top 10 films (problems with sound design were obvious), but it was my favorite at IFF Boston. I never expected the messed up second half, but it made the sappy first half much better. I hope this review gets a few more people to check it out.

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