From newcomer director Ozgur Uyanik comes the UK indie horror Resurrecting The Street Walker. Taking the form of a documentary, it tells the ultimately tragic tale of a wannabe film director’s obsessive desire to break into the film industry.
James (played by James Powell) is an unpaid runner for a film company in London’s Soho but thinks he’s the next Tarantino. When he comes across an unfinished 1980s horror film called The Street Walker, he begs his boss to let him finish it. But his efforts are hampered by obnoxious colleague Dorothy; by his father, who objects to his line of work; and by his own mental state.
While editing the found footage, James becomes convinced the original director gave up the project because one of the actresses in the film accidentally died on screen. This upsets James, leading him to suspect the film is cursed. When a fire breaks out during a shoot, causing the project to be shelved James believes his suspicions are confirmed. What follows is James’ slow descent into oblivion.
Resurrecting the Street Walker is a rare breed of UK indie that fuses documentary with psychological thriller and the urban myth of snuff movies. While its premise is interesting and engaging, it doesn’t quite deliver.
Now, I really don’t want to pan it, as the filmmakers have taken time and effort to craft their vision, which operates on several layers using video diary, documentary and the original Street Walker footage.
James Powell gives all he’s got as the put-upon wannabe director, but he’s an unsympathetic character. Middle-class and relying on dad to pay his bills, James reminded me of so many delusional types who think they are born film directors. Frankly, I got bored with his ranting. However, the supporting characters are well drawn and really struck a chord (I’ve worked in this industry, as well).
The script is heartfelt, but I found it verging on vanity. I could hear the writer-director pouring out his own bitter struggle to break into film in every word.
As for the horror, well it’s really only in the found footage, which is very disturbing, but thankfully stops short of being torture porn.
It’s a brave effort, but still on the amateur side.