The film business is not an easy one. Mostly what the audience sees has been preordained by the big studios, big budgets, big name stars, and big clout with the distributors and movie theater chains. There is little room for the indie film maestro. However once in a great while an Indie film maker does get his foot in the door.

Michael Roskum is that man! With Bullhead he doesn’t just have his foot in the door, he has a Mack Truck that has ignored the door and just came straight through the darn wall! Bullhead scooped 25 awards on the festival circuit, including the coveted Fantastic Fest Amd/Dell Next Wave prize. Bullhead is now an Oscar contender. A not too shabby position for an indie movie to find itself in!

Bullhead goes on a limited release in New York, LA and Austin on February 17, but I was treated to an early peek.

As Charlie Boswell. AMD’s Director of Media and Entertainment, and also the co-creator of the AMD/Dell Next Wave award put it:

Bullhead is too violent for the Art House group, but too Art House for the mainstream

I have to disagree. Bullhead does have the challenge of being in a foreign language. Dutch  and a little French. And yes, subtitled films do face a challenge in the US market. But I think that Bullhead can weather this storm. The storyline is so unique that the viewer is seduced into the plot.

There is a big difference between a box office disaster like Waterworld that supposedly came in at a cost of $175 Million to make and an indie like Bullhead that likely could have been made for less than Waterworlds Sushi Budget!

Low budget however should never be associated with low quality. Bullhead exudes quality.  I am guessing that Michael Roskum had one main camera, and maybe a second for scene fill. But Roskum is a master of using his weapons wisely. Every shot, every camera angle, every frame has been carefully executed. This is a man that knows exactly what he wants.

The story that Roskum tackles is one that involves the use of steroids. A subject all too well known to Baseball and Olympic fans. What you may not be so aware of are the steroids that are also in your steak.

Oh don’t get me wrong Bullhead is not about saving the planet, it is an action packed thriller with some very dark undertones. Violence abounds, but it is inferred rather than graphically displayed.

If you have the chance to watch Bullhead, please do. This is a film that deserves a wider audience.

I started this article off with the intention of writing a review, but, that idea got tossed out of the window, I need to think more about what I want to say. I am not a Film Critic, I am just a reviewer, but even I like to pigeon hole stuff, humor, horror, drama, bat guano, etc. Bullhead has me stymied, it is in a genre all of its own ‘Deeply Disturbing’ is its name!

More soon.

Simon Barrett

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