This is my first foray into the films of Dustin Wade Mills. His work is spoken about with great enthusiasm between fans of horror, and as I am always interested in viewing new and interesting horror films, I requested to view a screener of 'Applecart', as I have read many raving over his films.
Watching this film, you truly feel you are experiencing the mind of both a genius and a madman. The film, a four part anthology connected by ideas of forbidden fruit and love, works on many levels. Not only is it incredibly artistic, it draws you into its warped nightmarish landscape like nothing else out there. A feat many films fail at the first hurdle. Not 'Applecart'. It continues to draw you in, almost hypnotising the viewer and twisting their stomachs into knots throughout the entire film.
I watched this film with mouth agape, eyes locked on the screen, nails digging deep into the palm of my hand. Shot in black and white and featuring no dialogue, 'Applecart' transcends both the exploitation film tropes it displays, and to a greater degree the artistic performances and storytelling on offer, to become something much greater than the sum of its parts. It is purely and simply breathtaking, and pushes boundaries in every respect. The fact the cast all wear near white emotionless masks helps the viewer proect their own fears upon the individuals who perform in this cinematic triumph, making it that much more disturbing. You can literally feel everything being played out in your gut. This film, despite not showing it, really succeeds in portraying raw emotion and disturbing images to turn even the most jaded horror fans stomachs. As honest as it is transgressive, 'Applecart' is a thing of nightmarish beauty.
The fact that the actors and actresses cannot convey emotion through their faces means they take a much more theatrical approach to their performances, using elements of performance art, and it works to the advantage of the film, keeping the audience on edge and not letting them have any idea where the film is going to go next. How many films do that? I presonally can't think of any that have come out in the last ten years that have such impassioned and artistic merit as 'Applecart' does.
Even after watching horror and exploitation films for nearly 28 years, it is such a great feeling to see something wholly original. Something that manages to shock and surprise in equal measure. 'Applecart' is that very film. If this is any indication of just what Dustin Wade Mills can do, then this man should have his films in every horror and exploitation fans collection. That's a fact.
You can purchase 'Applecart' from Crumpleshack by clicking HERE.