E.T.X.R. (aka ETXR) Review

Main Title

Director: Trevor Sands

Writers: Herb Ratner, Trevor Sands

Starring: Caleb Hunt, Jeremy Luke, Levi Fiehler

Hoo-boy, will this be a short review. So, someone saw Primer and a Deadmau5 music video and decided to combine those two for a feature length film. Okay…so what is it about?

The main character looks douchey enough. Carry on, movie.

The main character looks douchey enough. Carry on, movie.

A DJ called Bix the Bug…imagine Taggart in Beverly Hills cop rubbing his eyes with his fingers. That’s me right now…A DJ called Bix the Bug (Caleb Hunt) tries to get his electronic beats to get increase his fan base, but even with the help of his manager / best bro Danny Fishmonger (Jeremy Luke) he hasn’t achieved success yet. When his old MIT buddy comes along with a Teslacoil reactor which gathers extra-terrestrial soundclips, Bix seizes the opportunity and starts using the reactor in his live shows.

Taggart cringes

When using the device, Bix starts seeing strange visions of a crazy man and the device changes him (changes him how, the movie never explains this) and after several warnings from his old MIT buddy Curtis Garret (Levi Fiehler) things seem to get life-threatening to Bix. Curtis powers the machine with a new prototype power cell stolen from the Occupy-movement (the film’s super hip) which makes several factions after the DJ. But of course Bix becomes super popular (there’s at least 40 people at his gigs now) with his new edgy sound (which sounded a lot like his older sound) and he cannot stop his downward spiral with his awesome space-synthesizer.

Press X to select Lawnmower Man.

Time for Lawnmower Man to do some laundry.

Do you really need me to review this film? I mean that plot synopsis should tell you everything you need to know about this film. Oh you do? Well okay. The science fiction is muddled and confused. It is never clear what the device actually does, other than play weird sounds from space, and somehow the audience feels things. The movie never expand on that notion either. The Occupy-movement? Fucking pointless. Xander Berkeley? Pointless. Those two secret agent / alien dudes? Pointless, once again.

I was interested to see what would happen when they finally decide to conclude the transmission / playback (again, very confusing what that means) during the last show but I was awfully let down by that resolution as well. So did anything work? Yes, the acting from both Caleb Hunt and Levi Fiehler were solid, especially Caleb Hunt who has pretty good on-screen charisma. His character is written to be like an asshole, but the guy makes him relatable, so good work there. The cinematography was okay, especially during the Dj shows. The electronic score was decent and there was some innovative editing tricks in use, especially the digital scramble effects.

Oh shit, my VLC player crashed again!

Oh shit, my VLC player crashed again…oh wait, that’s an effect in the movie?

And the helmet was awesome. Bix’s Daft-Punk-y DJ-helmet was beautifully designed. The helmet deserved a far better film than E.T.X.R. is. The film is confused and underwritten. It so wanted to be like a Techno-infused Primer, but wasn’t nearly not as smart as that was. And I don’t even like Primer.

This punk is daft.

This punk is daft.

Rating: ++

Best Scene: Bix’s quick visit to another dimension.

Most Memorable Bit: The Helmet. I hope you get a spin-off.

 

 

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