Film Geek
Melik Malkasian, Tyler Gannon, Matt Morris
Written and directed by James Westby
Independent Film ? Comedy
First Run Features 2006
72 minutes

Film Geek is an independent movie and comedy about, you guessed it, a film geek. As is the case for just about all independent films, this comedy features a bunch of unknown actors, a small budget, and not a hell of a lot of fancy camera work. Unlike many other independent comedy DVD I have seen recently, Film Geek by James Westby and starring Melik Malkasian is not self-indulgent, does not suffer from the presence of actors who got the role because they financed part of the movie or are friends with the director, and features no obvious in-jokes only the director and his pals understand. This is a very good, fun to watch, sometimes touching, sometimes very funny comedy that looks a hell of a lot better than many other indie movies and is a hell of a lot better than many Hollywood productions.

One of the reasons Film Geek is such fun is the immediate love / hate relationship a viewer has with the main character, Scotty Pelk (played by Melik Malkasian, a young Hank Azaria lookalike). Scotty is a video store clerk who, like many video store people you have met in real life, knows a little too much about the movies and is more than willing to share that knowledge even if all you want is to rent a movie for the evening and not have to think too hard. In fact, Scotty is the kind of guy who would turn you off getting Film Geek just by talking too much about it. Scotty’s world is the movies and his world comes crashing down around him when he is fired from his job at the video store. This, however, is probably the best thing that could have happened to the character played by Malkasian as it forces Scotty to join the rest of us mortals in the real world and actually interact with a real live (egads!) woman, Niko (played by Taylor Gannon).

There are many interesting and fun touches in this independent comedy movie. One is the occasional use of those MTV style info bubbles where you get more information than you need about Scotty such as his top five Cronenberg movies and so on. Another is how talented Malkasian is: his bit as a clerk in an auto parts joint allows him to do some pretty decent physical comedy. Fortunately, Scotty’s world as a film geek or idiot savant about movies gets some light when he meets a cute girl who is in film studies (which is why he actually talks to a woman) but is also interested in other things. Another bit, where Scotty goes to the listening station at a CD store, is priceless. This short gag is much like Film Geek: short, interesting, original, and does not overstay its welcome.

Although it does feature a barf scene and some people might object to the brief Dennis Franz shots when Scotty is taking care of business over the bathroom sink, Film Geek does have some more subtle comedic moments such as the ongoing phone calls about Scotty being late with his rental of Femme Fatale, a movie he in fact rented for his hot neighbor. Another neat touch, though for all I know it is accidental, is Niko and Scotty walking by a theatre whose double bill is That Obscure Object of Desire and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Film Geek is a fun, interesting, independent movie that is worth getting or renting and one of those movies you will check out again from time to time. This movie will also break your heart from time to time though the ending is a bit Hollywood according to me (then again, I run a review website) that is, of course, if that is how the movie ends….

A final note, the credits say Malkasian had a stunt double in Film Geek. What stunt did the double have to perform?


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