(Movie Review by James D. Bass) What if you took a group of American Martial Artists, gave them the green light on a picture, and let them run the entire production with no regard for script, casting, or other marketable angles for the picture? You would end up with the Indican Pictures recent release to DVD… Contour.
There are three movie types that seem to need little reason or plot in order to exist. They are Porno, Action, and Martial Arts films. The argument could be made that the only real reason for a plot in these genres is to separate one movie to the next and allow them to be titled and referenced later. The Martial Arts genre suffers even more degradation in the translation process from foreign languages of the East. Many times, the dubs are so humorous as a result that many serious plot lines transform into comedy material.
Writer, Director, and star of the film Eric Jacobus plays Lawrence Young, a thug-for-hire that winds up playing tour guide to a band of misfits. The incredibly weak storyline strings together a combination of actors that don’t fit their characters, delivering their lines as if someone wrote them just before the camera started rolling. A long synopsis of the story would probably be more pointless than the actual story. Suffice it to say, the members of the production group responsible for the film, the Stunt People manage to all make an appearance and lend their talents to this 107 minute demo reel.
Where Contour finally lands a roundhouse kick is with the fight scenes. Those unfamiliar with Martial Arts films, especially amateur productions will find themselves suddenly less interested in popping popcorn, and more interested in the eye-popping choreography of these action sequences. Fans of the genre will probably not find anything new. However, it’s hard not to admire how much these low-budget bohemians manage to accomplish on their quixotic quest to topple the high flying Kung Fu industry that is increasingly being imported. This is hard ball work made even more real by viewing the outtakes on the disc and seeing the punishment these stunt men (and women) endure for the sake of the movie.
Okay, it might be wise to watch the movie with one finger on the fast forward button, but keep an eye out as these faces will look familiar to those in the know… and more familiar if these guys keep practicing their art. No one is going to be going home with an award for anything other than a bloody nose or a well placed punch. If the words of Orville Redenbacher, famed popcorn farmer, are any indication Contour proves that success comes by following a simple rule. “Do one thing, and do it better than anyone else.”
Eric Jacobus (director) / Eric Jacobus (screenplay)
CAST: Eric Jacobus … Lawrence Young
Ed Kahana … Alfonso de la Rosario
Andy Leung … Lei Tak
Tyler Wang … Renee Wilder
Dennis Ruel … Ticker
Ray Carbonel … Assistant
Stephen Reedy … Tuoc