A black and white independent film by Malcolm Ingram and Matt Gissing, in association with View Askew, about one man's attempt to find Bigfoot and his slow descent into madness (though not necessarily in that order). Released to the film circuit in 1996 and distributed for the masses by IndieDVD in 2002.
Ingram and Gissing got the money to make their movie from Kevin Smith, who, during contract renegotiations with Miramax, secured $80,000 for the development of two independent films. Half of the money went to Ingram and Gissing for Drawing Flies, with the other half going to Vincent Pereira for A Better Place .
The film features a cast filled with View Askew faves, including: Jason Lee (Vanilla Sky, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), Jason Mewes (Clerks, J&SBSB, Vulgar), Renee Humphrey (Mallrats), and Carmen Lee (Chasing Amy, A Better Place). Executive Producers Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier both have short cameos. (Amazon.com calls it "the lost Silent Bob movie," because it features 10 seconds or so of Kevin Smith playing his famous drug-dealing alter ego.)
In the movie, twentysomething Donner (Lee) and his friends learn that they are no longer eligible for welfare/unemployment benefits and suddenly, for the first time in years, they are all struck with a huge problem: how in the world are they going to live without money? After tossing around a few ideas, Donner convinces the group that they just need to take some time and clear their heads. He suggests they take a camping trip way out in the wilderness and everybody agrees.
But Donner has ulterior motives. He begins having visions and soon he becomes convinced that he knows exactly where the legendary Bigfoot is hiding. The hiking trip is just a ruse so he can get everyone else to go along with him and find a better life amongst the Sasquatch. Before too long, everyone on Donner's camping trip is cold, frightened, and lost, and it's clear that their leader has lost his mind.
Okay, I'm not going to lie to you and say that this is the best film ever made. With all due respect to Malcom Ingram and Matt Gissing, this was one of their first efforts as filmmakers and it should be seen as such. Compared to other View Askew efforts, including Vulgar and A Better Place (which were both shot with similar budgets), the film is fairly rough in places. But that's not to say that the film should be discounted completely. A great deal of effort was put into the piece, and throughout the work, lots of raw talent and well-crafted comedy comes through.
So if you're looking for the next Great American Film, check out The Cider House Rules. But if you'd like to sit back, have a few laughs, and see some of View Askew's young talents in their earlier years, then Drawing Flies is a very worthy use of 76 minutes of your time.
Cast and Crew List
Directed by Matthew Gissing and Malcolm Ingram
Written by Matthew Gissing and Malcolm Ingram
Cast (in alphabetical order)
Joey Lauren Adams .... Hippy Chick (as Lauren Lyle)
Martin Brooks .... Jake
Renée Humphrey .... Meg
David Keeps .... Head Diaperman
Jon Knowles .... Whining Diaperman
Carmen Lee .... Cassidy
Jason Lee .... Donner
Bruce McDonald .... Hitch-hiker
Jason Mewes .... Az
Bob Millar .... Diaperman
Scott Mosier .... Crying Diaperman
Kevin Smith .... Himself (as Silent Bob)
Ethan Suplee .... Ethan (as Willam Black)
Twisty .... J
Malcolm Ingram .... producer
Scott Mosier .... executive producer
Kevin Smith .... executive producer
Film Editing by
Costume Design by
Josh Stafford .... office production assistant
My source for most of this review/writeup was simply watching the movie (duh) but some information came from everyone's favorite movie source, IMDb.com.