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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Steve Hanft Beck: Kill the Moonlight
Steve Hanft Beck: Kill the Moonlight
Plexifilm // Unrated // March 21, 2006
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Louis Howard | posted March 12, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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"I'm a driver, I'm a winner, things are gonna change, I can feel it." This is the credo of Chance, and the film is his story- fish hatchery worker, toxic waste cleaner and wannabe race car driver. trying to fix up his Camaro in order to get to a place where he can compete for trophies and glory. Hanft looks to capture a West Coast slacker aura with twisted humor, lazy pacing and aspirations of hitting the big time.

Listed by Plexifilm as a 1994 lost underground classic by filmmaker/music video director Steven Hanft, a prolific music video director whose credits include Beck, Elliott Smith, Eels, The Cure, Primal Scream and Spoon. Our hero/antihero Chance lives a lazy, uneventful life; while his ultimate goal is something worth rooting for, his life in general along the way, well, isn't- we see Chance vainly trying to woo back his old girlfriend, who still treats him well enough but has obviously moved on to other men and is honest with him about it. His father is an strange old man who seems to be a pretty apt blueprint of Chance himself, and where he appears to be going in life- lost, empty, uncaring, lazy, with little to show for his years thus far. Chance's thinking is hazy, and his fixations in life seem only to be ethereal fish and being a race car driver.

Chance himself does little in the way of actual "work" in order to make money to support himself, never mind the cash he needs to fix up his race car- what he does do is sell drugs for others, break into and steal from RVs and churches, and walk around his little world without direction, guilt, or any kind of drive to actually get to the life he wants to have. While you would like to see him at some point make good on his dreams, you just know it isn't very likely and in fact more probable Chance will wind up in a jail, hospital or graveyard.

The DVD-

A single disc presentation with an additional out of print soundtrack CD.

Listed here are the CD tracks-

Beck - Leave Me on the Moon
The Pussywillows - Vindaloo
The Dynamics - Tube Glory
The Raunch Hands - Green Room
Pam Aronoff - TV Jazz
Go To Blazes - Hating You
Loser [feat. Beck] - Born of Whiskey
Beck - Last Night I Traded My Souls Innermost for Some Pickled Fish
Delta Garage - Blue Eyes
Thomas Hendrix - Kill The Moonlight
The World Famous Blue Jays - Cookin' With Jay
Go To Blazes - Bad Cup of Coffee
Beck - /Underwater Music/
Loser [feat. Beck] - Dad Came Home
Martha Atwell - Wildwood Flower
Thomas Hendrix - Can't Find My Car
Pam Aronoff - Clear
Loser [feat. Beck] - Fish Bait
The Dynamics - Spaghetti Ride

Video-

Aspect ratio here is 1.33:1 and given the fact that this is a low budget independent film looks pretty decent. Colors are good.

Audio-

The audio track here is Dolby Digital 2.0 Again, good given the material at hand.

Extras-

2004 Interview With Steve Hanft- This piece clocks in at about 12 minutes in length. Coming across as laid back, personable and a little goofy, Hanft talks about his experience making the film and his period with Beck, as well as how Beck came about doing the hit song "Loser" to be used for Kill The Moonlight. Hanft is a much more engaging character than his semi-autobiographic Chance portrayal in the movie.

Extra Out Of Print Soundtrack CD featuring 3 exclusive Beck songs. This is the extra that shines here, with some great garage music material.

Final Thoughts-

While not without some interest, this little film left me cold. The additional CD is a great extra, but the film was hard for me to sit through, even at 78 minutes in length. The comedy presented is indeed twisted and much of the time not very funny at all. This isn't something I will feel compelled to watch again. Skip it.
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