MemoryLaneA low budget, psychological, sci-fi thriller, Memory Lane follows Nick Boxer (Michael Guy Allen), an orphaned American war veteran who has returned home and encounters an enigmatic girl, Kayla M. (Meg Braden), who he saves from jumping off a bridge and then begins a whirlwind romance with. Despite this she remains secretive about her past and refuses to even let him know her last name and then mysteriously kills herself. The distraught Nick soon after realises that he can be with her in another state when he temporarily kills himself, an act he routinely undertakes which also helps him to understand the mystery of what actually happened to Kayla.

Reportedly made for a mind-boggling $300, this film has all the shortcomings you’d expect. The cinematography of the film is surprisingly strong considering such a measly budget would suggest you’d be witnessing little better than first-year film student fare. The screenplay is by far the weakest aspect of the film with abysmal, paper-thin dialogue which can’t even yield one redeeming good line and when coupled with a narrative that isn’t properly explained enough, the film can be a pretty confusing and bland watch.

The acting is nothing to write home about although a strong convincing performance by the main actor playing Nick (Michael Guy Allen) shows some potential. Pity the dialogue he is given is uninteresting and totally cheesy in most parts (the bedroom scene dialogues are particularly cringe-y). The soundtrack is touch and go, well-placed in some scenes, in others, coming across as pointless and over-the-top (i.e. the ‘epic classical’ soundtrack in rather banal points of the film).

Overall it seems this is a rather damning review of the film, but when you take into account the limited resources it must have been made with then it is almost rather successful in that it comes across as lackluster rather than a truly horrendous watch. What could have saved this film was less trying to tug at the coattails of epics like Memento and more embracing of its lo-fi quality. It makes such an obvious attempt to be a big-time ‘deep’ film that this is where it fails the hardest, especially when poor screenwriting brings down anything good this movie does to begin with.

A pretty forgettable film that tries but mostly ends up dead in the water, pardon the pun.

Extras:

  • Director’s commentary
  • Deleted scenes
  • Short films
  • Promotional videos
  • Screen tests
  • Trailers

Available on DVD from MVD Visual.

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