But handsome intern Craig Murphy (Matthew Montgomery) suddenly shows an interest in Matthews, giving him a new calling: He invites the doc to a support club of people who have all survived a FOX nature show I must have missed, When Lightning Attacks!. Matthews soon realizes that his body is a current, and contact with similar victims--and with wall sockets and an array of electrically charged items--results in a euphoric state, like a sex-and-drugs high. Despite the warnings of now-boyfriend Murphy that with great power comes great responsibility (Spider-Man, is that you?), Matthews slowly slips from reality: he constantly craves a fix; he performs surgery on the entire group, giving them built-in wrist plugs and sockets; and he even resorts to a murderous rampage on slimy homeless people and hookers...he's kinda like a cross between Dr. Frankenstein and the Toxic Avenger. And any time Matthews plugs into somebody, he gets--you guessed it!--a montage of their lives and his own experiences.
This is a low-budget effort that hits upon some cool ideas but just can't execute them in a way that sells the material in the manner it requires. It hints at some drug and sex addict parallels, but doesn't do too much with the connection (beyond an apparent color scheme that is supposed to be a metaphor for addiction). And the socket/prong idea could have been used to more comedic effect with even stronger sex themes--with this extreme story, that might have been the right route to take (if you're gonna go for it, just go for it!). The frantic image editing during the electrically charged scenes is clearly a technique used to try and create special effects out of a small budget, but I can only take so much of it--including all those shots of TV screen fuzz--before I want to shove my own finger in an outlet. Think Videodrome and Poltergeist times 100, and you get the idea.
But the biggest problem I had here was the acting--it just didn't gel with the film's intent. Matthews comes across like a poor man's Patrick Warburton (who I love): tall and hairy, deep monotone voice...but he doesn't have any comedic instincts here, and can't convincingly handle the scenes where the doc goes crazy. And while Montgomery (best known for his work in the gay-themed love story Gone, But Not Forgotten) has a handsome presence, he seems to be bored a lot, just reciting dialogue--which can be said for a lot of people in the film, especially the support group. Words are spoken, but there's no feeling or belief behind them, no variance in delivery, no inflection, zero emotion. I almost felt like I wandered into a 1940s screwball comedy--like His Girl Friday with Rosalind Russell's rapid-fire delivery--only without the funny. And good acting. And solid direction. So when a hooker recites the line, "Jesus, whatever happened to class?" when Matthews wants to do the deed right away sans a car ride, it's not as funny as it looks in print.
And then there's Dr. Emily Anderson (Alexandra Billings) and Olivia (Allie Rivenbark), the lesbian lover of Matthews' friend Carol (Rasool J'Han). These two must have taken acting classes from the same school: speak the lines loud, fast and angry. They seem to be in a huge rush to get through the script, as if every line was written in all caps with exclamation points: "STEP-FAG IS MORE LIKE IT!" (Remember that Will Ferrell SNL character with the voice modulation syndrome disorder?) Only J'Han is able to escape the sea of mundane performances, speaking and acting with somewhat convincing, remotely normal delivery.
It's all clearly meant to be campy and crazy, and some of the images are a hoot for those willing to buy into it: the group having a circle jerk around a generator (okay, not a circle jerk, more like a circle shock), the boyfriends plugging into each other (and the wall) in a bathroom, Matthews shoving a fork into an outlet for a quick fix. And every time the doc plugs into a socket, guess what we see? Montage! Shocking, huh? (tee hee...get it?!) If you have the soundtrack to Team America: World Police handy, just play track 9 repeatedly while watching this, and you may have more fun.
Equally amusing is the commentary (feature length, with some breaks) featuring Abley, producer/production designer Doug Prinzivalli and actors Derek Long, Matthew Montgomery and Bridgette Wright (who plays another support group member, and whose "flying asbestos" comment made me laugh...watch the first support group scene and you'll know what she means). You might have more fun watching the movie with the commentary on: Abley has an engaging voice and tells some entertaining stories, like the direction he gave to Montgomery on how to act when he first sees Long's wrist socket: "React like you're seeing the biggest cock you've ever seen!" Abley--who shot part of the film at a location famous for porn shoots--also describes that he originally wrote his role (a support group member) for "RuPaul as a boy." (Damn that small budget!)
Also included are the film's trailer and four more TLA releasing trailers, as well as a photo gallery.