Artsploitation is a unique label. They deal exclusively with unknown or little known directors. They scour the globe looking for unique cinema that is equal parts art house and exploitation (hence the title). Their most recent release, Counter Clockwise fits the bill nicely and works with their previous releases.
Counter Clockwise is about a man with a ferocious red beard and a passion for biological transportation. We’re talking of the Fly variety or Star Trek if that’s your thang. He’s a super smart scientist who has left the megacorporation he worked for to pursue his experiments on his own. He tries the device and it works! He decides to transport himself and accidentally time travels into the future. Something went wrong with his machine and something terrible happened to his life. His equipment is now the property of the mega evil corporation he worked for, his house is no longer his, and he’s wanted by the police for murder. Bummer. Now he’s got to put together the pieces and find a way to change his future.
Counter Clockwise is a good addition to the low budget time travel genre, one filled with classics like Time Crimes and Primer. The audience is left in the dark as is the main character so while he’s trying to figure out what the hell is going on, so are we. The movie is rough around the edges but it has a vitality to it that i really appreciated. It’s the rough homegrown quality that i liked. It has the true spirit of independent cinema rather than the overly slick vibe I get from so many “independent” flicks nowadays. I like slick too, but it’s nice to see something obviously made by folks with a passion, little budget, but a whole lot of guts. It’s very hard to make a film, especially a high concept flick on a budget. My hat is off to them. But is it any good? Well the acting is pretty solid from everyone and the plot moves briskly. Thankfully there is no fat to trim on this one, it’s lean and it works. There are some issues in the film for nit pickers but for my money they were minor (and spoilery so i can’t go into it here).
While not a perfect film, Counter Clockwise is an enjoyable indie effort from some new voices in film. Nothing here feels fake or contrived. It’s an honest film with the singular goal of playing around with time travel logic. It’s a debut film from director George Moise. I’d be interested to see what he does with a bit more money and bit more experience, especially if he stays with genre film making.