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  • I Pass for Human [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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I Pass for Human [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
well.... 11 Mar. 2007
By IKCWMBFD - Published on
Format: DVD
I watched this out of curiosity because some of Chris D's criticism and writing in particular about japanese film has been helpful (and I have been known to still put records by the Flesh Eaters and Divine Horsemen on my turntable to this day). The drug addiction/horror connection has been mined surprisingly rarely to date and it seemed like a good premise (and it's a great title). So I wanted to like this going into it.

Unfortunately, I just don't think this really comes together so I have to be critical as an honest consumer alert since everybody works hard for their money; I will explain in depth because my reasons may not matter for you and you may enjoy this more than I did. Low/no budget filmmaking is admittedly really tough and I think it is always important to give credit for effort and ingenuity in the face of adverse lack of funding and lack of time, so this actually is getting an extra star out of respect for its indie DIY origins. And had this been shot with grainy film stock like an old no wave film, maybe the atmosphere would have worked for me, but the bottom line is that the amateurish ordinary video look of this movie is a real impedement to the sort of feel being strived for here. There are many of you, I'm sure, who are quite used to the low budget video look for straight to vid horror and who will be asking, hey, what's the problem, you jerk? That's just the way it is, take it or leave it, and go watch hollywood dreck if you don't like it. But, for me at any rate, I think the difficulty is that "otherworldly" events like seeing hallucinatory images or spirits really require a certain look to the filmic world for their success, a certain quality of image. The other reviewer mentioned Carnival of Souls and Jean Rollin's films as reference points and I think those are certainly appropriate (low budget) touchstones for the moody surreal hypnotic dreamy feel Chris D seemed to be after. I just think that kind of end result, an extended portrait of a mind losing touch with reality and encountering things from beyond, is too ambitious for the means at his disposal and too far to reach with these ordinary visuals. It's one thing to do a quick and dirty slasher picture on cheap video; because that feels "real", the look can actually work well for you there--just not here really. And the sound, lighting, and framing are too often quite unremarkable in this movie, seeming indifferently set up or poorly executed, compounding the basic cheap-video problem (and having no budget is only partly an excuse on this front given the high quality a lot of other quick-working filmmakers have managed to achieve on the cheap).

The acting is pretty decent (there are some recognizable veteran actors cameoing here and there, including Mary Woronov and John Diehl) and the music scene background is kind of refreshingly different (there's a lot of very good stuff on the soundtrack though I think there is perhaps too much song use throughout; after a while it's almost like every scene gets a song for the background). Leaving aside the horror side of the equation, the drug scene portrayed here is not all that grimy or gritty as drug movies go, to the point where it seems almost a bit unconvincing when a gun gets pulled out and used; but on the other hand, I think drug use in the artist class hasn't been addressed nearly as much as the very obvious toll it takes on the poor at the lowest rungs on the social ladder, which is pretty commonly depicted in the media. I don't think there's much really new insight here on the drug-addiction front ultimately but I do admire the attempt to bring that element front and center into the genre.

So, in the end, I may be being too hard on this one, but you should go into this being fully aware of what level of production you're getting here for your money. I would love to see this same concept remade (and rewritten actually to push the material farther) with a decent budget/better look. The criticisms here are not meant to be discouraging but just meant as a fair consumer guide: better to make a flawed DIY movie than not to make one at all. I Pass for Human is a commendable try but it just falls short of success on a lot of fronts.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
So bad that it's so bad. 12 April 2007
By K. Selby - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I wanted to like it. Since this was Chris D.'s first attempt at a full length feature and I respect his musical career, I will try to give supportive criticism. First, the title seemed to have little to do with the very weak plot. The dialog was awkward, the actors looked bored, and were unconvincing (yet they often sported the right tattoos). The soundtrack contained decent songs but was completely out of synch with the movie. In the slow beginning it was especially missing where it would have helped out. The sound quality was oddly horrible as well. I wish more attention could have been payed to each scene because all the scenes were dull, boring, with many holes, either too long or entirely unnecessary - and there's another and another scene of someone shooting up (dead horse) for shock value. The last scene (although the concept has been done hundreds of times before in movies) could have maybe been salvaged and the rest of the entire movie cut into short flashing clips to make an o.k. three-and-a-half minute long music video for the song "Miss Muerte". That's what it should have been. I commonly see films made by beginning film students that captivate. Apart from movies that are "so bad that they're good", this one's just so bad that it's so bad.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I loved it! 8 April 2007
By tyuiopas - Published on
Format: DVD
POSSIBLE SPOILERS: I'm not sure if one of the other guys reviewing here, who was complaining about the image quality, saw the same movie or what. For a movie shot on video, this looks good! It's not too bright -- which is often what makes digital movies look like, It also has good contrast, nice use of color and color correction which is another thing that is hard to get right on digital video films, at least as far as giving the movie a `film' feel. It's obvious there were many scenes where these guys took their time lighting the scene to get maximum eerie atmosphere and it shows. There were a few times when I forgot I was watching a digital video movie (of course, if you have your brightness levels up too high on your TV set, films that were shot on film are going to have a washed-out look, too!) So in other words, this doesn't look bad at all. Okay, enough on tech stuff. The story, although not strikingly original, is done in an inventive fashion and is very skillful at the way it layers back story details through flashbacks, gradually revealing the secrets of some of the major characters, and how they got to be what they are (either dying from drug overdoses or hiding guilty secrets, which in turn makes their addiction worse.) Acting is good all around, especially the two leads who play Jane and Rick - far better acting than you usually find in movies this low budget. The actress who plays Azami the main bloodsucker, also makes a great, scary vampire. She should be out there looking for more horror picture work. As far as influences, I was already a bit familiar with writer/director Chris D.'s work with his bands The Flesh Eaters and Divine Horsemen, so was aware of his inspirations from movies. You can definitely feel a seventies Euro vibe as well as style influences from nineties Japanese horror (done in a much more subtle and effective way than most of the lackluster remakes of Japanese horror of the past few years.) Chris and producer Lynne Margulies talk on the commentary track about influences (as in a lot of Mario Bava's films) and some other films with similar endings - as in CARNIVAL OF SOULS, THE OTHERS and Franco's VENUS IN FURS, which I had thought of, too, but I also was reminded a little bit of Elke Sommer's character in LISA AND THE DEVIL and Naomi Watts character at the end of MULHOLLAND DRIVE (although Lynch's movie was more abstract and circuitous the way it came to that conclusion and with a few hints dropped beforehand.) Another positive aspect is the stupendous use of music here, with plenty of atmospheric stuff - the songs on the soundtrack are all cool (not lame, as in many other horror movies of the last decade.) In fact, I heard about this movie in a roundabout way when I picked up the album "Miss Muerte" by Chris D.'s band The Flesh Eaters from 2003 (there are a couple of songs from it - "Miss Muerte" and "Azami" on the I PASS FOR HUMAN soundtrack.) Recommended all the way around.
Two Stars 12 Aug. 2014
By August Noone (Johnnie Sage) - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Pass on this 30 April 2007
By lecudedag - Published on
Format: DVD
A strange low budget film about a young woman who's so caught up in drugs that she sees dead people, some of whom have returned as vampires.

How does she see them? Think about the 6th Sense film to work that one out
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