“A young woman named Clara is captured by a serial killer named Leonard who records his “life story” by keeping a scrapbook of his many victims. In addition to adhering Polaroids, scraps of clothing, and other small trophies to the pages, Leonard has forced his victims to personally write in the scrapbook about their individual ordeals. Clara is beaten, raped, starved, and locked up like an animal, filthy and naked. She is forced to write in the scrapbook, adding her agony to the pages. She soon realizes that her only hope for survival is to manipulate Leonard through her writings in his cherished scrapbook.”
I may be slightly biased with this review, being a big fan of director Eric Stanze’s work, but this film was amazing. Let’s just get that out of the way to begin with.
The performance by Emily Haack too guts, determination, and a lot of willpower to pull off, but she did it in such an amazing way, it really is a testament to films and acting in general. What I loved most about Emily’s performance here was learning about the film through it’s commentary, and also learning that Emily really took some serious knocks and bruises through this thing – what a trooper!
Tommy Biondo (R.I.P.) plays the sick and dementedly twisted Leonard in this film, and he also does so brilliantly. For a film of such small budget, Eric Stanze truly gave us two perfect performances along with showing us just how messed up people can be (in the character of Leonard’s case).
This film is best summed up just by the brief synopsis above, yet people going into this blind have to be aware that it deals with some tough subject matter, and it does not shy away from the pure brutality and sadistic nature of that subject. There is severe beating, rape, explicit sexual scenes etc, but all of this is in line with the nature of the subject matter portrayed in this amazing low-budget film.
This, my friends, is how you make an excellent film, on a low budget and tell an amazing story in the process.
10 out of 10 – Brutal, unflinching, yet compelling and essential viewing