Furthermore, Landau and crew have added some nice artistic touches to the overall presentation of the picture, including a very smart sound design and a bleak, minimalistic approach to set decoration. The latter is very instrumental in creating that incredible sense of unease I raved about earlier. The sparsely-dressed sets are impersonal and cold, giving you the same icky feeling one generally receives when stepping inside a hospital or an unlicensed back alley psychiatrist's office. Was this intentional or the unfortunate side effect of a tiny budget? I'm really not sure, but its very effective nonetheless.
Bryan Loves You also sports a glistening trophy case full of genre-related talent, including Tony Todd, Tiffany Shepis, George Wendt, Lloyd Kaufman, and Brinke Stevens. What separates this flick from the usual "Look at all my snazzy cameos!" fodder is how Landau utilizes the talent he's assembled. By casting them in atypical roles, he allows his celebrity types to disappear into characters that aren't necessarily suited to their strengths. I don't know about you, but I always get pumped whenever I see typecast actors turn in performances that might be a step or two out of their comfort zones.
However, despite a strong performance from none other than King of the Ants scene stealer George Wendt, it's genre beauty Tiffany Shepis who walks away with my coveted Most Impressed Award. Angry, mean and fully dressed, Shepis proves she's capable of more than just disrobing and dying. It's a smart move, I think, one that may help her land meatier roles in the future. At least I hope so, as I think she's grossly underused right now.
Aside from some spotty acting from its supporting cast and a clumsy action sequence towards the film's finale, Bryan Loves You is an enormously entertaining sophomore effort from Take Out director Seth Landau. It shows an incredible amount of versatility without sacrificing the filmmaker's stark visual style and his ear for smart, realistic dialogue. This is an oddly personal film for Mr. Landau, I think, and I'm sure it allowed him to exorcise quite a few demons in the process. And in my humble opinion, Bryan Loves You cements Seth as one of the smartest microbudget directors working today.
That's why my mother's creepy porcelain doll told me to say, anyway.