Director/writer: Shane Thueson.
The Four Stories of St. Julian is a 4th Grade Film production, which was initially released on DVD August 24th by Vanguard, with GoDigital Media Group acting as a partner. Most recently, this film is being shown by Gravitas Ventures via video-on-demand on AT&T, Charter and Verizon this month (more formats below). This is a film that unfolds as the audience sees it and there are no cuts, except to change camera position. This is also a film that claims St. Julian is the saint of murderers, but this is unlikely as homicide is generally known not to be a Christian value. Bloody, vicious and offering some intimate moments in this one setting film, The Four Stories of St. Julian is a mostly entertaining story, while some of the violence can make one feel uncomfortable e.g. possible castration, amputations, threatened child mutilation (you get the picture).
The film is oddly similar in plotline to M. Night Shyamalan’s Devil, which was recently shown in theatres. Four and a half (a baby) strangers find themselves in a rundown graffitied elevator, where not everyone is who they appear to be. Sound familiar? Soon, cash, blood, body parts and other symbols of greed litter the chamber’s floor, as one man hopes to extract information from another man of buried booty. One innocent bystander relates a terrible story of trauma before showing why a mother should never be separated from her child.
For an independent film, the Four Stories of St. Julian is well-done and the use of one set, one time period, with a single premise is worthy of Aristotle’s three unities (unity of time, action, place). Surprisingly, this film flew under the radar and straight-to-DVD without telling a soul and the film is deserving of a following. There is enough blood for the gorehounds, enough intricate dialogue for the dramatists, and enough mystery and suspense for thriller fans. Yet, there is hardly a review of the film to be found anywhere. Seems strange, no?
All the basics of filmmaking have been achieved. The lighting is well done and interfered with during certain key scenes. The camera techniques are interesting enough for the enclosed space and all the dialogue can be heard throughout the soundtrack. While the budget shows itself in the lack of exterior shots, the film sets itself up to be a terse thriller, with some excellent writing. The lack of depth for the central villain is the only misstep and a common one for filmmaking of all sorts. The film is truly a horrifying and entertaining time. Check this one out on the sites listed below.
Overall: 6.75 out of 10 (undeveloped antagonist, overly bloody at points, one setting might bore some).
Gravitas is distributing this picture on: AT&T, Charter, Verizon, Rogers, Cogeco, Insight, Mediacom, and Suddenlink.
The film’s website:
St Julian’s Homepage
*Available since August 24th. For those who like and understand the limits of indie’ filmmaking. This film was made for 100K: