I picked up Essex Space Bin without knowing much. I knew it was released by Troma, I knew it was British, and I knew it was very low budget. I also knew it looked odd. All of these things combined, I figured it could be a perfect Awful Awesome movie. Or it could be absolute garbage. But that’s the roll of the dice I take every time I’m on the hunt.
Essex Space Bin is about a middle-aged woman named Lorraine. She’s lonely and poor. She has a daughter that doesn’t like her and a mother that doesn’t like her. She believes that she’s on the cusp of discovering a secret portal to another dimension. As a child at the beach she met a man looking for the key to the portal and ever since then she’s been on the hunt too. She meets a mystic with a cheap website who claims he can gain her access to the other dimension but only if she pays him. Her daughter and her mother think she’s crazy and that the man is a charlatan. Undaunted, Lorraine continues to pursue her gateway to a different life. Will she find the portal? Will it be what she was hoping for?
Essex Space Bin is a real head scratcher. It looks like was shot on film, which is incredible. No one shooting low budget flicks shoots on film anymore, especially when they’re as bizarre as this flick is. Characters where super cheap wigs, scenes meander for several minutes and rarely coalesce into anything resembling a story. The film is a big rambling journey that feels beyond the grasp of the viewer. I felt like I was transported into a world without context, like joining a conversation half way through where the people being discusses are unknown to us. The characters speak about things as if we, the viewer, understand the context but there is no context. We’re just thrown into a bizarre world with little idea of what the hell is going on. I felt as if this was part of a longer series, that perhaps this was a public access or web show that was popular enough to create this feature.
Individual scenes do little to build upon each other and instead feel like individual ideas. This gives the film a very disjointed feel as things get progressively more strange as it goes along. There’s a clear passion behind the film. This was in no way thrown together to make a quick buck. It’s a film that uses it’s own language to tell a story that makes sense to the directors but rarely does so for the viewer. Given the right crowd and the right situation, this could be fun to watch but as a solo viewing, I had a hard time staying focused on the film.