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The Independent Critic

Nigel Moran, John Busow, Carl Wharton
Nigel Moran
89 Mins.


 "Mayhem Behind Movies" the Rare Mockumentary That Works 

Mayhem Behind Movies is the latest in a long line of "fly on the wall" style mockumentaries designed to take a seemingly ordinary situation and make it downright insane. 

Mission accomplished. 

Written and directed by Nigel Moran, who also stars in the film as hapless filmmaker Kevin Knight, Mayhem Behind Movies is a frequently hilarious and occasionally moving look at the hectic and maddening life of Knight, who is on a mission to complete his first "big break" movie "Valentine" in time for its opening premiere. We wouldn't have much of a film if such an endeavor were going to be easy and it certainly isn't easy for the determined Knight. With pervy and chaotic friends, cast and crew, it will take everything Knight has to survive the mayhem and complete his motion picture. 

Mayhem Behind Movies is practically a textbook motion picture on how to truly capitalize on working with a low budget and trying to create a memorable film. The film captured an honorable mention award at the Los Angeles Film Festival and its unique sensibility and consistent entertainment value should give it a solid home on the indie and comedy fest circuit. 

The majority of the film is noted as being based upon Moran's real life experiences, a fact that's not particularly surprising given the film's natural feeling even at its absolute zaniest. I should stress that we're talking "zany" and "mayhem" in the British sense, which means it has stronger roots in the intelligent and practical sides of life rather than the more common lowbrow mayhem often found in American comedies. 

Another bit of quirky fun in the film is to watch for Moran's tip o' the hat to films that have inspired him and inspire the film including Forgotten Silver, THX 1138 and a couple of others that you should definitely watch for by film's end. 

Moran is an absolute hoot as Knight, who is both a genuinely ambitious filmmaker and a bit of a narcissistic nincompoop. It seems like at every corner he comes face-to-face with yet another obstacle, ranging from an accidentally deleted script to a not so accidentally disappearing budget. 

As it all happens, you both laugh with and laugh at a filmmaker who may or may not be the Ed Wood of the common era - we may never know because with all these obstacles he may never actually get the film made. 

Mayhem Behind Movies may seem familiar when everything starts, but by the time you've spent 89 minutes with Kevin Knight and his cast and crew you'll find yourself having been immersed in a film that truly has its own creative voice. While the whole "mockumentary" approach to filmmaking has been beaten to death, Nigel Moran makes it all work with hilarious results. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic