The Adventures of El Frenetico & Go-Girl
By Mike White
When I got this video it was accompanied by a note wherein Director Pat Bishow told me that his video didn't make it into the second annual New York Underground Film Festival. He hadn't missed the deadline, they just didn't think it was good enough.
Eeew, I cringed when he told me that. After sitting through RAGING BOIL, one of the worst things I've ever seen (it's up there with SCENT OF A WOMAN, SHOWGIRLS, and DEATH IN VENICE) which had made the cut, my expectations were so damn low that it could have been a six hour static shot of Pat taking a dump and I would have been pleasantly surprised.
So, you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that EL FRENETICO was even better than that! It's the story of a washed-up super-hero and his spunky sidekick who convinces him to come back into the biz after evil dude Heinrich Syphon hatches his evil scheme to turn the world into wax statues by eating snack cakes.
Yeah, EL FRENETICO is kind of silly, was shot on video, has okay sound, and the lighting lacks finesse, but Bishow's ambition comes through on your TV screen. The pacing may not be "all that" but the fight scenes are well-coordinated and there's some good editing going on.
What I admire most about the video is that Bishow did it. He got the people together, got the costumes made and the music recorded, and took the time out to make it. All the hard work is apparent. This isn't some slapped-together slip-shod thing, it's got heart.
I'm curious, though, as to why this was shot on video since it appears that Bishow has worked in 16mm in the past with his film SOUL TANGLER ('87), and the video for Hypnolovewheel's song, "Wow." Perhaps the material leant itself more to the video format to give it more of a cheap public access show feel. If that's the case, though, this is better than any public access I've ever seen (but maybe Michigan has some lousy shows).
It looks like Bishow's returning to 16mm for his next film, the vampire movie WHITEWOOD CROSSING which has a cast of his "regulars," including Go Girl herself, Frances Lee. I'm looking forward to checking it out.
For more information, contact Pat @ Amusement Films: (212) 388-2319