Wednesday, May 25, 2011

FILM REVIEW: "Decomposing Tony Maslow," by Crosby Tatum

Crosby Tatum
FILM REVIEW: "Decomposing Tony Maslow," by Crosby Tatum

A couple of weeks ago, the 2011 edition of the Boston International Film Festival showcased a number of unique and memorable films and stories that had tremendous quality and unique depth during the weeklong festival. For my money, and for what I’ve seen, I don’t think there was a film that caught my attention quicker than
the psychological thriller/horror flick, Decomposing Tony Maslow.

Decomposing Tony Maslow is about a broke, high-strung, yet talented ghostwriter by the name of – Tony Maslow (you guessed it), whose recent breakup with his girlfriend Lia, and his troubles with Leon, a loan shark, are seemingly affecting his ability to finish his latest book.  Through the guise of his agent, Phil, Tony is set up in a quiet house, with Arthur, the housekeeper, far away from his problems to finish writing his book.  At the house, Tony’s personal problems continuously conflict his ability to write.  One night while intoxicated, Tony is greeted with an unexpected visit from a call-girl named Sasha, who satisfies Tony to no end for a night.  Tony wakes up in the morning to find Sasha dead on the bathroom floor.

This death starts a chain of events that sees Tony’s world turned upside down.  From pages of his book mysteriously typed up without his knowing, to seeing the death of Sasha covered up, thanks in part to Arthur, who tells Tony to not leave the house under any circumstances, to not be implicated in the murder.  Tony is seemingly thrust into a mind-bending fight where not just his book, but his life is on the line with forces that seek to make Tony not just a visiting resident but “permanent resident” inside this house.

Maslow was a well structured story with mysterious, sometimes, creepy characters that made you feel like you was looking at a more eclectic, suspenseful, almost Stephen King-like thriller in a sense.   I found that the music and sound designing truly set an eerie and dark mood that really helped us understand the situation better, and even, spook out the audience at times with this film.

At first, the film began with a humorous tone that would make you believe we was about to watch an offbeat comedy.  But, no, was I way off the mark with that.  Tony Maslow really drove me into the mind of the character and his problems, and the life or death battle he’s in as this house “decomposes” his life force, so to speak.

I can do without the video-ish looks and the transitioning in between phone conversations at the beginning of the film, but overall, Maslow did more to surprise me than many other films have done with a film-like look and a Hollywood budget.
Decomposing Tony Maslow is a wild and twisted ride of emotions that will twist even the smartest mind.  And I consider my mind to be the smartest out of them all (insert funny here). But check out Tony Maslow wherever it may play and enjoy it.   

Film: "Decomposing of Tony Maslow"
Director: Sacha Parisot
Film's website:

Review written by Crosby Tatum
Editor: Rod Webber
Published by Reel Zine
© Reel Zine 2011

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