We get a lot of review requests along with links to private “screeners.” Mostly, these are low-budget movies so dreadful that they don’t even appear on Netflix or Amazon Prime – yet. They have titles like Luciferina and The Haunting of Mia Moss and, in this case, Lection and Shed.
Often the movies are unfinished: The soundtrack might not match the video, the credits have yet to be added, that sort of thing. But occasionally these films have a certain rustic charm; the spirit of Ed Wood living on.
Low-budget movies tend to come in two distinct categories: watchable and unwatchable. Today, we take a look at two movies released this year by South Carolina filmmaker David Axe.
One is quite watchable and the other, well … you guessed it.
Lection has probably the least amount of dialogue since 1928 – the year they stopped making silent movies (more or less). The story is set in a post-apocalyptic future in which two casualties are the spoken word and the written word. “Election” becomes “lection,” “vote” becomes “vot.” Conversation becomes nearly non-existent.
A third casualty is the movie’s wardrobe department, which can happen when your budget is a mere $25,000 and the amateur cast is encouraged to wear their Saturday-afternoon shabbies. Hey, it’s OK though, because this is the (extremely) casual, dystopian future.
Anyway, a rag-tag group of survivors has split into two factions fighting for more bread. Or rather, “mor bred.” One faction is led by a sexy young black woman (Sanethia Dresch). The other group is led by a grumpy old white man. You can probably guess which side wins.
(Above right, actress Sanethia Dresch’s shapely backside; more about that below)
I’ll credit writer-director David Axe with this: His story is ambitious. It wants to explore the societal division between haves and have-nots. The problem is the movie’s execution. (I’m reminded of football coach John McKay’s rejoinder when asked what he thought of his team’s execution: “I’m in favor of it.”)
A major problem with Lection is its lack of dialogue. No speaking means long, long, long stretches of deadly dull footage in which nothing much happens. In this case, less is not more.
To watch the trailer for Lection, click here.
(Above, Mike Amason in Shed)
Compared to Lection, a lot happens in Shed (not to be confused with The Shed, another 2019 premiere), an Axe production that features many of the same actors from Lection but in a much more entertaining movie. Unlike Lection, Shed is a watchable mess.
It’s a bit of a throwback to 1980s schlock, but Axe has a few things going for him: His musical soundtrack is distinctive and surreal; and the man certainly has visual flair. Many of Axe’s shots are clever.
But mostly, Shed is enjoyable on a guilty-pleasure level. If you like gore, there is that. If you like gratuitous nudity, there is plenty of that. There are even moments that reminded me of – in a good way – Blade Runner. And if you enjoy hammy performances, here we have Lection’s Mike Amason (pictured above) in another villainous role.
The plot involves some mumbo-jumbo about an unhuman species that traversed the Atlantic hundreds of years ago, and which must kill humans in order to inhabit their skins. Events are frequently incomprehensible, but the film is never dull. Axe’s musical score, his pacing, some over-the-top performances, and the striking visuals ensure the movie’s entertainment value.
To watch the trailer for Shed, click here.
The Mysterious Case of the Vanishing Actress (and Her Shapely Derriere)
One thing Lection and Shed have in common is actress Sanethia Dresch, who stars in the former and provides support in the latter. She is a bright spot in both films. We tried to interview her.
After initially agreeing to do the interview, she did not reply to the actual questions. We’re guessing she might not have cared for our third query:
“Most of the reviews of Shed mention the “threesome scene” early in the movie. Can you take us through what it’s like to film a scene like that? It was a very dark scene (at least on my computer), but it appears that you are nude in it – were you? Was that difficult?”
Or perhaps she was scared off by the mention of Rip van Dinkle:
“When I get your replies, I might have some follow-up questions. Also, we have a humor columnist named Rip van Dinkle who wants to ask you a couple questions. I’ll forward them to you after I receive your replies to this interview.”
Can’t really blame her for that. Dinkle scares off most people.
Or, as director Axe told us: “She’s not always very responsive.”
Anyway … there seems to be some dispute about the aforementioned threesome scene (it’s mentioned in pretty much every review). For one thing, the actress who plays “Kahlan” (Caley Fleming) apparently used a body double (Courtney Busby) for the simulated sex — although the close-up shots below certainly seem to be of Fleming:
Then there is the third member of the horny trio, “Morgan” (Dresch), who joins in the bedroom fun. Axe told us: “To be fair, she (Dresch) wasn’t actually nude in that threesome. It just very briefly looked that way. The nudity in that scene mostly was the result of clever editing.”
Hmmm. That piqued our curiosity, and so because we have way too much free time, we lightened the (very dark) scene.
We suppose there could be a merkin involved, but these certainly look like bare butt cheeks to us:
In the shots above, Morgan (Dresch) enacts a fantasy she earlier described to Kahlan (Fleming): “I’ve been dreaming … Gauge (Gauge Santiago, the dude above) is always there … I want you, too: your mouth, your tits, your cunt, your skin. And Gauge — his hands, his cock.”
Apparently some dreams do come true.
(Fleming, left, and Dresch discussing … uh, maybe Gauge?)
(Click on photos for a larger view)
Shooting Shed was apparently quite the experience. Director-writer-editor-photographer Axe includes this statement in the end credits: “An amateur cast and crew made Shed for $25,000 in Columbia and Eastover, South Carolina in late 2018 … during a hurricane. A bunch of actors and crew quit during production.”
And then there is this from Axe in an on-line interview:
Can’t say the actresses weren’t warned about Shed’s nude scenes. Here is the casting call:
Speaking of nudity, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention actress Emilia Olga’s (“Caley”) eye-catching full-frontal shower scene:
Olga All Dressed Up:
Olga All Undressed:
Just for fun, here is a blink-and-you-miss-it skin shot when Morgan’s cheerleader skirt flies up as she runs through the woods:
In case you are beginning to wonder if we have a fetish about Sanethia’s fanny, well, we aren’t the only ones. Check out this clip from her YouTube page and a shot from her Instagram:
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