Full disclosure right off the bat; I’ve known filmmaker Mike Lombardo for years. We became friends through our mutual love of a certain mid-list horror author (who also happens to be the Producer of this film), and hit it off. We share a lot of the same interests, and we’ve even worked together before (on 2015’s Fast Zombies Suck).
All of that said, I put aside my Lombardo love for the sake of this review, and watched his feature length debut I’m Dreaming Of A White Doomsday without any outside interference or pre-disposition. And even if I didn’t know Lombardo, I would have come to the same conclusion about this film: it’s good. Damn good.
I have watched Lombardo’s Reel Splatter Productions evolve from making Troma-esque YouTube films to a full-fledged production company over the last several years. Lombardo has always had a knack for incredible practical effects work, and I have seen his skills be honed over the last decade. While making short films on YouTube was his bread and better for a long time, it is great to see him take a step into the realm of feature films, and with this one, he has created quite the calling card for himself.
I’m Dreaming Of A White Doomsday is the story of a woman and her young son trying to survive in a fallout shelter after some sort of apocalypse destroys the world. Of course, we get some brief flashbacks to the how the world was before said disaster, with Damian Maffei providing a bit more of a family dynamic as the father. However, the movie really belongs to both Hope Bikle and newcomer Reeve Blazi.
Most of the film’s hour and ten minute running time is focused solely on these two, and their dynamic is what carries the entire thing. Bikle’s mother character is solely focused on trying to keep herself together while the world (and her life) crumbles around them. Trapped within a small space, she does the best she can to provide for her son, and when supplies run low, she has to take it a step further and venture out into the world in order to survive.
The framework for this takes place in the week before Christmas, as both Bikle and Blazi cross off the days as the celebrated holiday looms closer. However, being the apocalypse, there is no happy ending here. In fact, this is by far the bleakest, most depressing holiday film I have ever seen. Bikle’s character does struggled to survive, and to make this Christmas wonderful for her son, even in the worst of times, but the story definitely has some twists and turns in store for her.
Without much dialogue, Bikle still manages to convey a whole range of emotions. Her acting ability is on full display here, and she must be commended for a most excellent job well done. I’d love to see her in some other things as well.
Also, Reeve Blaze kills it. I’ve watched Reeve grow up (being friends with his parents), and never in a million years would have known that he has such skill in acting. He really adds a sweet spot to the film. Kudos to him.
Lombardo deserves part of that credit as well, because again, without much dialogue, it was his directing that help bring both these performances to life. He did a wonderful job of setting the tone, and giving his actors the things they needed to make their performances work.
For such a simple story, Lombardo crafts it nicely. This is definitely a slow burn type of film, with the tension slowly building and taking its time to get inside your head. The days passing by are slow for the characters, and he deftly conveys that to the audience without ever making it seem like the film is dragging. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I will say it was an interesting surprise considering how grounded in reality the rest of the film was…or, as much reality as a post-apocalytic Christmas film can be grounded in.
I’m Dreaming Of A White Doomsday is currently making the film festival circuit, and I definitely urge you to catch it if you can. We’ll keep you informed as to any home video releases.
For more information on the film, and to see where it is screening, please visit its website at: http://reelsplatter.com
|I’m Dreaming Of A White Doomsday|