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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Little Film
I did not know what to expect before viewing this picture, but I was very pleasantly surprised. This little low-budget gem is well-made, with great actors in the leads and a build up to a very satisfying conclusion.

Following a film festival, four friends travel to a distant cabin to brainstorm ideas for their very own screenplay. On the first night, one of...
Published on June 16, 2009 by David Butler

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good scares, writing, and acting for the film's budget
Admittedly I bought the movie because Greta Gerwig is awesome. The film itself is actually pretty good. I don't think I'd give it a second watch, but there are lots of higher budget films I've also highly enjoyed but would not give a second watch. The film is both suspenseful and engaging, as the problems facing the characters (aside from being amateur filmmakers) are...
Published on January 27, 2011 by Julian J. Stimach


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Little Film, June 16, 2009
By 
David Butler (Ormond Beach, FL, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Baghead (DVD)
I did not know what to expect before viewing this picture, but I was very pleasantly surprised. This little low-budget gem is well-made, with great actors in the leads and a build up to a very satisfying conclusion.

Following a film festival, four friends travel to a distant cabin to brainstorm ideas for their very own screenplay. On the first night, one of the girls has a dream where she sees a man wearing a brown paper bag over his head watching her from behind some bushes. After telling her companions, they decide to use the dream as the basis for their movie. Before their story can even get off the ground, they each come to believe that they really are being stalked by a man wearing a bag over his head. Then things get pretty intense...

Though the set-up might sound like that of some lame slasher flick, nothing could be further from the truth. At its heart, this movie is about the relationships between the characters. Strained friendships and potential love connections make the audience care about the characters just in time for things to get spooky.

The Duplass Brothers do a super job of both establishing the leads' relationships and maintaining the tension. The story keeps you guessing until the end. If you like Baghead, consider renting their earlier effort The Puffy Chair. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good scares, writing, and acting for the film's budget, January 27, 2011
By 
Julian J. Stimach (Kansas City, MO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Baghead (DVD)
Admittedly I bought the movie because Greta Gerwig is awesome. The film itself is actually pretty good. I don't think I'd give it a second watch, but there are lots of higher budget films I've also highly enjoyed but would not give a second watch. The film is both suspenseful and engaging, as the problems facing the characters (aside from being amateur filmmakers) are pretty common relational problems. Seeing such issues portrayed so realistically, in my opinion, inspires a better understanding of such situations as they are encountered in real life. The only thing I would say I intensely disliked about this film was Elise Muller's character. Though this could very well have been directorial intent. At no point did I feel sorry for her character because she was so incredibly annoying. She just would NOT take a hint, though as annoying as I found this, I must commend the creative use of such a realistically annoying character in a work such as this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars baghead, January 16, 2010
This review is from: Baghead (DVD)
I was always interested in this movie. It looked like crap and in a way it was so yay for buying it at a cheap price. It got a little boring during the film and the acting was as real as it could get. I thought the idea of the film was neat but with more of a budget, it might have made a great horror film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mumblecore slacker horror-comedy, July 10, 2009
This review is from: Baghead (DVD)
A funny and scary slacker comedy about four friends who go to a cabin to write a realistic low-budget horror screenplay, and find that reality can be very frightening. This was a Sundance favorite a couple of years ago, where I saw it the first time. It got mixed reviews when I brought it to my cinema program on Halloween - and, with some exceptions, my sense was cinephiles and younger folks seemed to love it, but those over 40 or those who value entertainment over unique and interesting approaches to filmmaking, tended to be underwhelmed. I found it to be very funny and entertaining, and subtly clever; it was probably my favorite American feature film at Sundance 2008.

Clearly, some won't get it. Others may get it and just not like it. Jay and Mark Duplass belong to a small but admirable group of filmmakers who make a virtue of do-it-yourself style filmmaking about ordinary 20 somethings to whom nothing much remarkable ever happens. They face ordinary problems, they hesitate, they don't know how to express their feelings, they are insecure, they mumble. They are just like most of us, and their lives are not all that much more interesting. Still, when done right their decisions and the consequences can be fascinating, when the seemingly simple and mundane moments start to add up to something, indefinable. For the most part I think this one gets it right.

The thing is, this kind of film seems not at all to lend itself to "genre" filmmaking: sci-fi, horror, Westerns, and the like. But Jay and Mark try to pull it off here, and manage to pull off something that is both funny and frightening.

The film begins with a parody (not all that far off) of the artsy student film festival, and makes clear that's not what they're working for here. At bottom this is a loser love story, a classic comedy genre, that toys with becoming a "young horny folks in a cabin in the woods" slasher flick, while staying true to the mumblecore do-it-yourself style of films like the Duplass's The Puffy Chair and Swanberg's Hannah Takes the Stairs. It's fun and funny, for some, but if you have no sympathy for those kinds of films you aren't likely to appreciate this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant example of independent filmmaking without a budget., March 25, 2009
This review is from: Baghead (DVD)
Brilliant example of independent filmmaking without a budget. It just goes to show that you don't have to have millions of dollars to make an entertaining film as long as you have some talented folks both in front and behind the camera. (Plus you can make a drinking game out of how many times they say the name "Jett Garner.") Looking forward to the next Duplass Brothers film.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The very low budget film gets a good treatment on DVD, December 30, 2008
This review is from: Baghead (DVD)
Robert Rodriguez was among the first that truly was an inspiration of creating movies with a low budget. It just takes some creation and a well-written story and who knows where it can take you.

For the Duplass Brothers, independent filmmakers known for their hit "The Puffy Chair" comes "BAGHEAD", a low-budget horror film that parodies horror films but manages to captivate you with its humor, awkwardness and it stars the queen of mumblecore.

The film stars Ross Partridge, Steve Zissis, Greta Gerwik and Elise Muller as four actors who have not really had any success in their acting careers. After watching a friend's mumblecore (note: a term that means ultra low-budget, shot with a home digital camera) film at an underground film festival, the four decide to write a screenplay but star each of them. So, they decide to go on a retreat to work on this script in a cabin at Big Bear and hopefully it will jumpstart their careers.

The four main characters are:

Matt (Ross Partridge) is the cool guy. He has an off-and-on relationship with Catherine but really wants to make his acting career happen.

Chad (Steve Zissis) is Matt's best friend, also a fellow actor. Low-self esteem, really digs his date Michelle and worried that his best friend Matt may have sex with her.

Catherine (Elise Mueller) is Matt's on-and-off girlfriend and an actress who is not quite happy where her career is, especially as she gets older.

Michelle (Greta Gerwig) is Chad's date and wants to have sex with Matt.

The four try to come up with a script but somehow some are into it and some are not and have difficulty coming up with ideas. Michelle who gets a bit drunk doesn't feel well and goes outside to puke and then she sees a person with a bag in his head. Michelle tells everyone that there is a guy out there with a bag on his head but no one believes her. If anything, Matt feels that a serial killer wearing a bag on his head would make a great script.

But as the four start to flesh out the script, Michelle secretly gives Matt a letter that she wants to see him in her bedroom. While Michelle waits for him, she sees a man but with a bag on his head. Michelle gets scared out of her wits and tells Matt but Matt said he didn't do it and said maybe Catherine did it and thus everyone starts to accuse someone of being the person with a bag on his head.

Next thing you know, the following morning Catherine is missing and then Chad is missing. Perhaps there is a real serial killer outside the cabin who is wearing a bag over his head...

The film, being low-budget, doesn't rely on having much but reliable lighting, camera work that is quite shaky and it seems there is an actual fifth person in the room filming them with a digital camera and good editing to make sure that the cut scenes are done right.

After watching "BAGHEAD", I was actually quite pleased with what the Duplass Brothers were able to come up with. A well-thought out script that was improvised with what the crew had at their disposal, it came together pretty well. Also, the actors seem like friends and not actors trying to act like actors. I hope that makes sense but to simply explain it, these characters are real, genuine people that I can imagine myself meeting at a Hollywood party and talking about creating a script and acting in it (albeit to make their IMDB profile look great).

But overall, Mark and Jay Duplass manages to create a fun film that I enjoyed more on DVD courtesy of their commentary and special features.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

The DVD is presented in 1:78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Because this is a low-budget film, I was not exactly looking for any superb video quality or audio quality. Audio is primarily dialogue and you can hear them clearly.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The DVD has a few special features:

* Commentary with Directors/Writers Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass - I have to admit that it was a blast to hear these two talk about the film. Knowing about the challenges and their feelings about the actors and actresses and overall their film. Knowing how they had plans to have a certain scene but due to losing a light, they had to come up with a different storyline. Knowing about certain scenes they cut out and most of all, learning things what potential filmmakers want to hear in a commentary.
* Mark and Jay Duplass Answers Questions They've Already Answered - This was also fun to watch as the two had their baby daughters with them. How cool is that! The two take their top 10 questions typically asked to them at the film festival circuit and re-answers them for the viewers. Questions such as "What was your budget?", "You two are brothers, can you stand working with each other throughout the film?", etc. And again, like the film itself, these guys are real, not spoiled by the industry and just tells it like it is and often playing with their children during the interview. Overall, quite fun to watch.
* Baghead Scares - Not sure if there was a contest online for this or it was purely user submitted but this special feature shows a few people scaring their families or people on the street wearing a bag over their heads.

For me, having had worked on a low-budget project before, I've always looked at Indie films especially mumblecore type of films to be quite fun. In this case, the Duplas Brothers manage to come up with a low budget horror film, not horror as you may think of in terms of gore and violence but just more or less, a storyline that is quite freaky right until the end.

Interesting ways of how you point fingers at each character of possibly being the baghead or wondering how dark or twisted the film could get but in the end, this film is more or less a comedy. A lot of laughs, a lot of fun and for a low-budget film, I have to give the Duplass Brothers some props for working out the cut scenes quite well and really, come up with a solid story without not having the big Hollywood budget.

But most of all, managing to create a film that has a good balance of humor, horror and a bit of campiness but yet effectively telling a story without a multi-million dollar budget. An enjoyable film on DVD worth checking out!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Highly entertaining for low budget, October 17, 2009
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This review is from: Baghead (DVD)
I happen to have a very soft spot for low budget horror. To me, there's something undeniably appealing about a cast I've never seen before (and hence have not developed any preconceived notions that may inhibit my ability to enjoy a particular character), as well as a low tech approach to creating horror. They also tend to be gimmick free, or at least less full of distracting gimmicks. All the above are true in this film. Additionally, the concept is a fun one. Its not necessarily a full novel concept, but its nonetheless entertaining with an at least good enough acting cast, a decent script, and decent camera work. Fully recommended at least as a rental.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Baghead, May 13, 2014
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This review is from: Baghead (DVD)
A movie with a clever plot and is worth the watch. Independent movie that should definitely become a cult hit.
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2.0 out of 5 stars with exception of Greta Gerwig, December 31, 2012
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This review is from: Baghead (Amazon Instant Video)
the realism was a plus and so was Greta Gerwig -- other than that the story coulda used some punch-up to make it more interesting
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1.0 out of 5 stars Might be of interest to fans of low-budget horror parodies about young filmmakers, June 19, 2012
This review is from: Baghead (DVD)
This movie might have gotten a B+ or A- as a film school project. But it should have stayed there, and never have been unleashed on an unsuspecting world. It's not horror - it's a parody of low-budget horror, so not scary. About as scary as a guy putting a bag on his head. It's supposed to be funny. But I didn't find it the least bit funny. About as funny as a guy putting a bag on his head. It's narrowly focused on these young filmmakers and the making of their film while staying at a remote cabin. Since I'm not especially young, nor a filmmaker, i found it very boring. However, that's just me. If you're a young filmmaker who enjoys seeing a man with a bag on his head scaring other young filmmakers, you might enjoy this.
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Baghead
Baghead by Mark Duplass (DVD - 2008)
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