Calling-card pic has all the casual earmarks of a post-Gen-X effort: the swearing, the ennui, the pop-culture riffs. Indeed, Canuck co-helmers are counting on fact that “Drawing Flies” was exec produced by Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier, who made “Clerks” and “Mallrats,” to gain entree to indie circuit. Not this time.
There is a smattering of talent in this would-be comedy about Vancouver twentysomethings who take to the woods in hopes of finding Bigfoot and perhaps becoming “totally harmonious with everything.” Of course, these three boys and two girls are only as harmonious as pals who call one another “dickhead” can be, and the pic, like its antiheroes, runs out of steam before the hike is actually over.
While technically a B.C.-Ontario production, “Flies” has drawn some local fire for the casting of Yanks in most of the lead roles. “Mallrat” Jason Lee, ex-“Clerk” Jason Mewes and “Fun” star Renee Humphrey play some of the urban slackers who hit the wilderness when their dole money runs out. These thesps are passable, but it doesn’t really matter who they are, since everyone speaks in the same, undifferentiated voice — a rapid-fire yet casually mumbled snarl about the basic crumminess of everyone and everything.
Despite too many closeups (and too much makeup), Brian Pearson’s black-and-white lensing is where most of the interest lies, especially since the story is so flat. Some clever observations pop up in the profanity-dependent script by helmers Matt Gissing and Malcolm Ingram, who should be the first to commit themselves to a continentwide moratorium on “Scoobie-Doo” references. Smith and Mosier put in quick cameos, along with Canuck icon Bruce McDonald, to up the hipness factor, but it doesn’t really help when this resume item is already too hip for its own good.