Review: ‘Ordinary Madness’

Aptly titled "Ordinary Madness" is a humdrum psycho potboiler that takes way too long to spring its few, pretty silly chills. Digital indie looks like a latenight cable time-filler.

Aptly titled “Ordinary Madness” is a humdrum psycho potboiler that takes way too long to spring its few, pretty silly chills. Digital indie looks like a latenight cable time-filler.

Arriving in L.A. to jumpstart his blues-guitarist career, young Bobby (Ron Carlson) lands both gig and girlfriend — boss’s daughter Betty (Mariah O’Brien) — at Leo’s (Mark Boone Jr.) scruffy bar. He lodges in gloomy manse presided over by vampy Faye (Denise Gentile), whose accident-paralyzed hubby (Gary D. Mosher) she keeps stranded on the top floor. Troubled-childhood flashbacks, over-sedation and other murky doings lead to Faye’s turning Baby Jane on helpless hubby, and hell-hath-no-fury toward everyone else. Scenario would stretch credibility even without its story/editing continuity gaps, and despite lurid tone, there’s not enough sex or violence to hold the attention of undiscerning viewers. Cast is generally better than material, especially Mosher and O’Brien, with not-bad comedy relief from two aging stoner types (Robert Musgrave, Alan Gelfant). Low-budgeter’s sound is on the shrill side, with other tech aspects routine. Interior and noctural scenes were almost impenetrably dark at Cinequest preem screening, though fault was laid with projection rather than production lighting.

Ordinary Madness

Production

A Legendary Prods. presentation of an Anello/Keane production. Produced by Dean Anello, Paula Keane, Erica Spano. Executive producer, James J. Smythe. Directed, written by Bernardo Gigliotti. Camera (color, digital), Keith Holland; editor, J. Carlos Negrete; music, Tom Keane; production designer, Regina O'Brien; costume designer, Vincent Lapper. Reviewed at Cinequest San Jose Film Festival, Feb. 25, 2000. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

With: Ron Carlson, Denise Gentile, Mariah O'Brien, Gary D. Mosher, Robert Musgrave, Alan Gelfant, Mark Boone Jr., Steve Richard Harris, Pat Cocran, David Batiste, Aimee Graham.
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