By Amy Mead
Beyond The Valley Of Belief: Real or Unreal Vol. 1
Directed by Brian Papandrea
Written by Brain Papandrea, Nathan Rumler and Brian Kilby
Starring Brian Papandrea, Brian Kilby, Nathan Rumler, Sadie Tate, James Bell and Adam Lorenz
Rock Bottom Video has got to be one of my favorite indie production companies around right now. Having been a huge fan of their other films, Fangboner, and the Big F, I was very pleased to find out that The Rock Bottom Video boys were back at it with yet another contribution to the indie film world. And what a contribution it is.
Their latest effort, BEYOND THE VALLEY OF BELIEF: Real or Unreal Vol. 1, is a highly entertaining parody of the old television series Beyond Belief: Fact of Fiction. For those of you that don’t know, the show ran from 1997-2002 and would present the audience with a series of weird, outlandish, and creepy tales that the viewer would try to determine if they were true or false. The show host, Jonathan Frakes, would then do a reveal at the end of each episode.
What the gang over at Rock Bottom Videos have given us with Beyond the Valley of Belief is something similar in that it follows the format in that respect. But that is where any similarities end. The content presented is unlike anything you’d ever see on the actual show. And it is fucking hilarious.
Our host, Jonathan Fritz (Brian Papandrea) presents us with five stories that include a scarecrow man, haunted bicycles, possessed toys, vampire cannibals, farting ghosts, and an evil witch, while simultaneously losing his battle with alcoholism and continued sobriety in a special live Halloween episode.
There are five segments, complete with commercials, and while not all of them are not all equally entertaining, they are all extremely amusing. I found it to be quite a challenge to stop laughing,especially at the commercials (which are sure to delight fans of their other films). And some of the stories had me rolling. My stomach hurt after watching this film.
Director Brain Papandrea has done a great job with the films micro-budget. The film seems to carry itself along on its own momentum, almost seamlessly. And as usual, Brian Kilby kills it with the camera work and lighting.
Starring the usual cast of Rock Bottoms other productions, the acting in this film was beyond hilarious. Brain Papandrea, Brian Kilby, Nathan Rumler and Sadie Tate are all back in new roles, and they are nothing short of fantastic in them. That being said, I have to say the stand out performance here for me is Brian Papandrea. His portrayal as a witch is one of the greatest things I have ever seen in an indie film.
I like a little comedy mixed in with my horror and I truly cannot recommend this film enough. It’s campy, fun, and even a little bit bloody. Grab yourself a copy and see for yourself. And while you’re at it, check out the other films they have to offer. I promise you won’t be disappointed!