"Odd Noggins" (2015) - ZombieFuel.net
Photo courtesy of "Odd Noggins" writer and director, Joe Sherlock
by Bone Jawnson
This past weekend, I had the privilege of viewing the Skullface Astronaut film, "Odd Noggins." It was definitely "a strange trip into a small town where nothing is quite what it seems to be." Skullface Astronaut is a west coast-based production company with Joe Sherlock at the helm. According to his website, Joe is a veteran of over 30 feature and anthology films. Writing, directing, shooting, editing, and scoring most of his own projects. I really loved the feel of "Odd Noggins" and appreciated that Joe had a large hand in all aspects of its creation. His approach to low-budget horror reminds me of Rick Sloane (The Visitants, Blood Theatre). As I've said in the past, the lower the budget the more ballsy the production. Or in this case, the more boobs and bubble baths.
I first discovered "Odd Noggins" by searching for low-budget horror comedy films on Tubi TV, which has become my standard digital stomping ground. I approached the viewing of this film differently than I had before. Most times, I will conduct research on the history of the film, plot, budget, reviews, etc., to understand what I am getting myself into. I purposely did not do that with "Odd Noggins." I wanted to go in cold and form a true opinion of this low-budget work.
"Odd Noggins" teases viewers' perceptions from the beginning. There is a bouquet of side stories that eventually filter into one overarching science-fiction theme. There was a very eerie "man in black" character, Mr. Birch, that seemed to be some type of alien creature in a human body, although I'm not totally sure. He could have just been a pervert. A mysterious party, organized by Bob, to which many people in the cast were invited was very intriguing. For a bit, I thought that this party may end up being a climax to the film; however, there were other climaxes built in that you will have to see for yourself. The ending will make you say, "Oh, I get it now. Wait, did I get it?" I crave this reaction when viewing low-budget horror comedy movies. I also loved the use of practical effects, specifically lemon pudding, throughout the film. The actors went all in on situations in which their characters were placed. Although this is my first Joe Sherlock movie viewing, it will certainly not be my last.
Since discovering Rick Sloane and his catalog of work, Joe Sherlock has been the creator I am most excited to explore. In my opinion, both Rick and Joe go low and go ballsy. They truly embody their DIY vision and execution. Knowing that there are directors and creators like this in existence keeps my hope alive that more people will discover them and take note of how to push their limits. "Odd Noggins" is a great example of why I love the indie, low-budget horror comedy genre. A creator can be as out there as they want to be, with no limits. The creator is in control, as we should be.