Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 24th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2010
Director: John Cregan
Writer: John Cregan
Cast: Gary Entin, Lindsey Shaw, Robert Adamson, Chris Kattan, Blake Baskin, Christina Corigliano, Justin Deeley, Josslyn DeCrosta, Shannon Freyer, Ben Graupner, Kevin M. Horton, Roman Marshanski, Jan Milligan, Megan Moser, Benjamin Scott Perry, Nathan Potter, Jake Regal, Fernando Rivera, Tara Shayne
DVD released: March 22nd, 2011
Approximate running time: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Severin Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.98
Synopsis: After their boat catches fire and sinks. 18 high school students are left stranded on a deserted island. And when it becomes apparent that they are not likely to be saved anytime soon. The cool kids, who are lead by the Rog. Assume power. While the unpopular kids try to figure out a way to get back to civilization.
Devolved is the feature film debut of John Cregan (he also wrote the film’s screenplay), one of the people behind the Cult DVD label Severin Films. At first glance most perspective viewers will quickly dismiss this film as a raunchy teen comedy. That bears little resemblance to the eclectic array of titles that Severin Films have released to date. When it is actually not that far removed from the type of films. That we have come to expect from Severin Films.
Content wise this film can be summed up as a satirical take on Lord of the Flies. With a little bit of T.V.’s Lost thrown in for good measure. The initial set up of who everyone is and what their motivations are? Is done with brisk precision. In fact there is never a moment when this film drags from pacing. Everything moves along at a break neck pace. The dialog is always witty and often humorous. The characters that populate film are well defined caricatures of the type of characters. Which populate the majority of similar themed films.
From a production stand point this film makes great use of its limited resources. The film’s visuals are consistently strong and lend themselves well to the story at hand. Another area in which this film excels is its choice of music. With musical parody of Orchestral Manoeuvres ‘If You Leave’ and the film’s end credits theme Nik Freitas’s ‘Center of the World’. Being the two strongest and most memorable uses of music in the film. Another musical moment of note is a character named T Rey (who is basically a cross between the Glam rock band T Rex and Santana. It should also be noted that all the T Rey songs. Were written and performed by John Cregan.
Without a doubt the one area in which this film packs the most bang for the buck. Are the performances from its cast, who for the most part are all pitch perfect in their respective roles. With the film’s stand out performance coming from Robert Adamson in the role of The Rog, a fifth year high school senior. Who never wants high school to end and always talks about himself in the third person. Another performance of note is Lindsey Shaw in the role of Peggy, The Rog’s girlfriend.
Sure this film is not without its flaws. Whether is be a joke that just misses the mark or a performances that quickly wore out their welcome. I am looking at you Chris Kattan. And yet for the most part I was really impressed with how much I liked and was entertained by Devolved.
Severin Films presents Devolved in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves this film’s original aspect ratio. This is a strong transfer that boasts accurate looking colors and flesh tones. Black levels look consistent good and details look crisp throughout. There are no problems with compression and the image remains stable throughout.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. Both audio mixes are in great shape. They both sound clean, clear and balanced throughout. With the differences between the two audio mixes being minimal.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 54 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), 11 deleted scenes, 3 music videos, audition footage (8 minutes 51 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a featurette titled ‘Devolved: Behind the Scenes’ (18 minutes 58 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), which includes comment from most of the cast, the producers Bettina Tendler O’Mara, Jim Valdez and writer / director John Cregan. As far as ‘Making of’ segments go this one is a well rounded discussion. That does a good job conveying what this film was trying to achieve. Also included with this release are two short films, ‘Live Tomorrow Today!’ (17 minutes 8 seconds – 4:3 full frame) and ‘Restive Planet’ (13 minutes 46 seconds – anamorphic widescreen). Plot wise ‘Live Tomorrow Today!’ follows the infomercial concept. It revolves around a young boy, who has been asked by his father to be the best man at his father’s wedding. In order to be ready for such an honor. He is forced to grow up at a rapid pace. This is an amusing short that features Love Boat Ted Lange portraying himself. Plot wise ‘Restive Planet’ revolves around a teenage boy, who is ready to retire. So he runs away from home and cons his way into staying at a retirement. Unfortunately he is unable to keep a low enough profile. And the resident bully an elderly man named Johnny. Dimes him out. This one is anchored by a solid performance from Alex Rocco in the role of Johnny. Other extras include two audio commentaries. The first audio commentary is with actress Lindsey Shaw and actors Gary Entin, Roman Marshanski and Robert Adamson and John Cregan. The second audio commentary is with John Cregan. By far and away the stronger of the two audio commentaries is with John Cregan. Who discusses casting, the differences between the script and the final cut of the film, the film’s score and other music that appears in and how he dealt with the difficulties that were encountered due to the low budget filmmaking. The other audio commentary is a more light hearted affair. That focuses more on the participants experiences working on this film. Instead of the more technical aspect of the production. Rounding out the extras are trailers for Birdemic, BMX Bandits and Gwendoline. Overall Devolved gets an exceptional DVD release from Severin Films.