Pressurecooker Review

I don't even know why I go to the movies anymore. I mean, I get into an era where three quarters of the movies out in current release are complete crap, where I am disappointed by the medium as a whole at every turn. I live in an area where I have to travel a good half hour to see an art film. No deal has yet been struck with a videostore to allow me to rent movies free, so that medium costs me a good $20 a month. Cable bills are a constant plague, and the premium channels end up showing the same old same old. And, thanks to the newly handed down embargo on press by Regal cinemas (in the form of an email which they refuse to allow me to see), I am getting frozen out of seeing movies there, too.

Consider, on the other hand, the Internet. Consider the short films that are made readily available. Like the man who has given up novels for short stories (or, as the main character in Will Stitman's Metropolitan, for fine literary criticism.), I am considering giving up the feature length film for its cousin "the short".

Available online by the dozens, this brand of film may lack the professionalism of its 35mm counterparts, but by no means does it lack creative merit. Sure, half of them want to make the feature length someday, but right now, due to the spread of the electronic world, we get to see the early products of the next Speilbergs as they happen.

A case in point that has been my normal crusade has been Rigormortis productions, of which returning director Richard Ferrado is the next David Zucker. In the Null brothers (Director Bradley and Writer/Producer/Actor Christopher), we find the next David Lynch.

Christopher Null, in addition to getting my personal respect as being the head contributor to (one of the many sites that harbours my reviews), is also a gifted writer capable of turning out a script that gives a dark and mysterious atmosphere in 13:00 of film.

For a plot synopsis: imagine Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. In SH5 (as it is known by Vonnegut fanatics such as myself), Billy Pilgrim is unstuck in time. He perpetually goes between incredibly painful and incredibly serene periods of time in his life.

In Pressurecooker, David is in much the same situation. Constantly, he goes back in time (if only in memory) to the haunting death of his mother in an act of senseless violence. At the present, both he and his brother Alex (David M. Kaufman) are in a mental institution. One is visiting the other, although it is unclear which one.

Through the flashbacks, the drifting back and forward in time, we are given an overall impression of how the death has emotionally maimed the brothers, while maintaining (through highly a highly skillful mix of black and white and color) an eerie mystery over the event, painting the entire sequence as if a surreal nightmare.

One of the finest dramatic debuts since David Lynch's Stick Figures Getting Sick, Pressurecooker is a story that is successfully able to grab you by the throat, pull you into the characters, and place you back into reality again in the time it takes most films to introduce the plot.

Seeing as it is both a drama and a mystery, I cannot give away the ending. I can, however, give a shameless sales pitch on behalf of the creators. The film is available on by clicking here. It is available on VHS and in RealVideo. It's worth it.

[Full disclosure: is run by the producer of Pressurecooker; this review was written by a critic unaffiliated with the film.]

Facts and Figures

Run time: 13 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 18th May 1997

Reviews 5 / 5

IMDB: 8.5 / 10

Cast & Crew