Movie Review: "Long Lost" (2019)
There are very few things in this world that tickle my pickle as much as being genuinely surprised by a movie. I’m the kid raised in a video store who became the man whose church is the movie theater. I’ve even worked a considerable amount of time in video stores (remember those?) and theaters. What I’m trying to say is that I can almost always guess what’s coming about 15 minutes into a movie. It’s just a by-product of having seen thousands upon thousands of flicks across all genres.
This is absolutely not the case with Erik Bloomquist’s debut feature film, Long Lost. The film begins a 30-city, limited theatrical run on March 29th before going to Amazon on April 10th (National Siblings Day….perfect).
Seth (Adam Weppler; The Cobblestone Corridor) is invited to the palatial estate of his long lost half-brother, Richard (Nicholas Tucci; You’re Next) following the death of his father. When he arrives, he is floored by the splendor his sibling lives in…and thoroughly disturbed by his erratically forceful personality and behavior. Further cementing the intrigue is Richard’s live-in girlfriend/sex kitten/partner in crime, Abby (Catherine Corcoran; Terrifier, Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. 1&2). She’s a walking mindfuck, ridiculously seductive in a girl next door package. Does she love Richard? Is she a prisoner of his new-age Gatsby-esque lifestyle? Moment to moment, Seth will be tested in ways he couldn’t imagine.
Long Lost is billed as an “erotic thriller”, and it very much fits the bill. However, there’s more than a tinge of straight horror to it as well. It’s also gonzo as fuck; there’s just no other way to put it. There are things happening in the course of events (can you say Chubby Bunny?) that are utterly bizarre but perfectly in line with what is ultimately happening here.
It’s tough to review, actually, because it falls into that “less is more” category where I simply cannot tell you much because it would spoil the rich fun you’ll behold. The trailer is outright deceptive. I genuinely thought I was going to get something entirely different, and I mean that in the best way possible. You might be able to put the pieces together, but I’m betting that you’ll be saying “what in the blue hell did I just watch?”
You’ll be saying it with a smile, by the way.
The small cast is outstanding. Richard is off from the word go, but his chiseled looks and powerful presence have you leaning toward the screen incessantly. Seth manages to be both fragile and surprisingly tough at the same time, but he can’t help but play this thing out to see what the punchline is. Weppler is distinctly talented in an everyman way. And Catherine Corcoran as Abby? Holy poop on a stick! She’s breathtaking. I don’t have another word for it. Troma girls really are the best!
The highest compliment I can pay Long Lost is that as good as the twist is, it’s not the thing that makes it so unique. True creepiness is something that can’t be faked; it happens organically…and the creep factor is pretty high for this gem. Gonzo is the perfect subgenre to put this in, as you can’t get there without mixing a few different elements together and getting a bizarro result.
Have you ever heard the expression “possession is nine-tenths of the law”? Sure you have. I have a go-to version of that expression that SHOULD have been the tagline for this movie: “Perception is nine-tenths of reality”. It fits perfectly with the theme of a movie that proves indie cinema is where it’s at. Long Lost is a daring anomaly alternating between subtle and batshit crazy in the blink of an eye. I don’t know about you, but that’s how I like my movies.
Do yourself a favor and watch it with a sibling. It’ll be one of those experiences that you can make reference to for years to come. Oh, and remember the name of Erik Bloomquist. You’ll definitely hear it again.