Review: Goliad Uprising

July 9, 2012

Mr. Frights

I’m not really sure what it is, but people keep sending me NON-HORROR stuff to review. This makes the third request in a row. The only thing about this that is horror is Shannon Lark’s past filmography. So before I go any further I want to clarify this [and I in no way mean to be a dick here] I AM NOT INTERESTED IN ANYTHING THAT IS NOT HORROR RELATED, NOT HALLOWEEN RELATED, NOT SCARY, OR NOT FUN! Sorry folks, but I thought the name itself gave that away. Mr. FRIGHTS is ALL about HORROR and HALLOWEEN! And now just so I get something out of the 98 minutes I spent watching this, I’m posting my review.

Most of the time I do a review I’ll let the filmmaker take a look at it before I post it. I know how much image is worth to someone who put all their effort into a project and I don’t want to insult or wreck anyone with my words. However, I’m always honest about my thoughts and feelings on a movie. I have withheld reviews for people before because their ego won’t let them face the truth, that at least one person didn’t like their work. However, with this one, I’m still publishing it regardless because 1. I did the work and 2. I’m proving a point about honesty.

Shannon Lark as Ariel

Like I said, the only thing horror about this movie is Shannon Lark’s past filmography. I love me some Shannon Lark. She’s sexy. She’s got her game together. She’s smart and knows what she’s doing on screen. I’m not trying to kiss ass here, I just like her. I don’t know her personally, though I’d really dig that. She hasn’t done all good work, but she’s been pretty incredible regardless. But that’s just my opinion. How she got mixed up in this stinker I just don’t have a clue.

That’s right, I said stinker. This movie starts off OK. It’s a familiar story, with a contemporary spin which all of us modern smart device using folk can connect with. I’ve also seen this in a Dr. Who episode once. Basically the story goes that there’s a company putting out a new technology that people are sucking up like they do new iPhones these days. The problem is the devices are brainwashing people. There’s a rebel movement of sorts that is trying to stop it from happening and there ya go.

The movie comes from Writer/Director/Producer Paul Bright and stars Shannon Lark & Aaron Weisinger. You can find out more over on their website: http://goliaduprising.com/

The great thing about this movie of course is Shannon. She delivers her performance with professionalism and is spot on. However, the character as it is on screen falls a bit short. She [the character] comes off as fun and quirky and borderline crazy, as close to an over the top fantasy life changing character can be without accomplishing the goal. This seems to be a theme in this film as most of the characters are just bland or fall short of being over the top, which would have scored big.

I should mention Aaron Weisinger did a good job with his character as well, but again, the character falls just short of what it should have been. The main bad guy was horrible. I’m sure he’s a fine actor, but miscast none-the-less, or misdirected. If anyone is supposed to be over the top, it’s a bad guy, and this fella could have been made out of cardboard for all it mattered. His soft spoken words of wickedness were just boring. They should have been spoken with true bravado and boisterous flamboyance. I wasn’t impressed.

Click to Order the DVD

The editing jumps around a bit and leaves some things out which hurts the movie. Instead of lead-ins and lead-outs from scene to scene we get someone saying to go do something and suddenly without notice they are doing the action or have done it. Time jumping this way just shows a lack of story telling ability on screen. Usually that means they didn’t get a usable shot or forgot something during filming. The sound FX are off too. Not that they don’t exist, but they used some things that just don’t fit at all, like silenced handgun sounds for guns that are clearly not silenced and muffled automatic weapons fire when it should have been louder for sure.


The other big thing that was hard not to notice, with this type of movie you’d expect a nice soundtrack to go with it. Not just music from some bands or recording artists, but real soundtrack stuff like symphonic music to help move along the story or help the audience connect with the moments in the movie that are tender or exciting or scary. This has a few songs thrown in where they could put them, but mostly it’s quiet.

This puts most of the focus on the dialog which isn’t exactly smart either. Some of the shots suffer from camera work without dialog when you’d expect it, like the level of filmmaking were less than experienced. One scene has the camera tracking the couple through a crowded room capturing the various people in the area and settling on the couple while you can hear the background noise of chatter going on. With the camera settling on the two main actors I’d expect some dialog to be forthcoming, especially with the amount of time the camera lingers on them, but all I saw was the two whispering to each other for a moment and I’m left wondering what was said or what the point of that shot was. Another was how some of the dialog was delivered, just didn’t make sense. One conversation has Ariel talking to David and she gets upset out of no where for no reason. This happens a couple times throughout the movie, like there’s no settlement on what emotions are supposed to be playing out during these exchanges.

One of the things I hate most about reviewing any movie, is ripping it up. I know what goes into making a film and no one starts out thinking they are in this endeavor to make shit. But sometimes, in the end, that’s what you end up with. Here, I can only give kudos to the filmmaking team for undertaking the quest of making a film and completing it. That is the first big success of any movie even if it’s bad. The rest of this is just a failure of writing, filmmaking know how, story telling know how, and to much playing it safe.

The movies we love are filled with over the top characters, the books we love too. You have to start with a good story, a solid script, decent actors, and an experienced or talented crew, but in the end the biggest part of that story you’re telling is how the characters come off to the audience. No one likes bland every day characters. We love bigger than life characters that take us on incredible journeys. This film has so much potential but fails to deliver it at almost every turn. I’m not sure if this is the first movie from these guys, but regardless, they have a long way to go before it looks like they know what they are doing [and by “they” I mean whomever was in charge of the overall production].

The bottom line for me is, the movie should have been bigger. The characters should have been bigger. The scope of the story should have been presented in a bigger way. They did OK with what they had, but with a bigger budget and in the hands of an experienced filmmaker/story teller, this would have been a great flick.

I’m giving this flick one scream because it wasn’t unbearable, just disappointing at the large amount of missed opportunities it had. And of course, it’s not horror.

– Mr. Frights




One comment

  1. Nice, Mr. Frights. You are so right about Shannon. She is amazing. I have this movie waiting for me at home to review. Now that Viscera is allllmost behind me for this year, I will get to it very soon, I hope. I’m so curious about her performance in a non horror film. 😀

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