Disco as The man in the garage
Nathan Gray as Jack Brown
Maggie Maye as Mary Brown
Jasmine Serra as Rachel Brown
Sarah Herrick as Cindy, the babysitter
Here at Best-Horror-Movies.com I get a lot of low-budget horror flicks submitted for review. Some of them are good, some very bad and most somewhere in the middle. In any case I am always excited to see them and relish the creativity, heart and soul that go into creating each of them.
Not long ago I was contacted by Robert Luke about a micro-budget feature called The Man in the Garage. As an enticement he offered his MySpace page where a “prequel” titled The Boy in the Garage was available. After watching the prequel I had mixed emotions – here was an interesting 11 minute short that was pretty good, but obviously shot with a hand-held camcorder and made for nothing. I responded that he could send in his screener.
After receiving the package it sat on my desk for a few weeks. I wasn’t particularly excited about watching this one – of all the Indie flicks I watch I just couldn’t get engaged with a camcorder-shot film submitted by some kid. Finally, I decided to “get it over with” and watch the thing.
The film tells a tale of a young couple, Jack (Nathan Gray) and Mary (Maggie Maye) and their daughter moving into a house inherited from his recently deceased parents. The daughter Rachel (Jasmine Serra) has a bit of trouble making friends at school and starts talking about her “imaginary friend” whom she says is living in the garage. Her parents are a bit concerned about her new playmate, but they have their own troubles. Money is tight, Jack longs for the days when he played in a band free and easy and his wife is a nagging bitch.
Well, the imaginary friend is not imaginary at all, but actually a crazy bum that has taken up residence in the garage – and he doesn’t take kindly to anyone who is not nice to young Rachel. Starting with the slutty babysitter the garage guy begins a killing rampage that evolves into an abduction of the girl and the parent’s search through the homeless underworld to find her.
The Man in the Garage is not fine cinema – it is shot “on the cheap” with poor lighting and troubles with the sound. The acting is fair but nothing to write home about, and several of the scenes look as if a re-take might have been advisable. Still, there’s something about this one…
I found myself completely engaged in this film from beginning to end, and the use of a simple theme to create horror reminded me of something I saw long ago… That “something” is Within the Woods, the prequel to The Evil Dead created by Sam Raimi. The story is completely different of course, but the shards of brilliance are in common. Raimi, of course, went on to create not onlyThe Evil Dead but Direct or Produce dozens of films from the Spiderman trilogy to 30 days of Night.
Is Robert Luke on the path to become the next Sam Raimi? Impossible to tell… but given the right amount of drive, opportunity and luck he may be able to springboard from The Man in the Garageto films with more budget and resources and actually showcase what I suspect to be a budding movie-making talent. Check this one out if you get the chance