VIC DVD Review
There is a road that every filmmaker and actor travel, searching for the project that they’re destined to be a part of. For late filmmaker Sage Stallone and veteran actor Clu Gulager that project was called Vic. The parallels of this short film co-written by Stallone to the lives they both have lived are reflective and heartfelt in a seamless way. Vic Reeves was a classic film actor who’s glory days seems to be far behind as he struggles to keep working, mostly in low budget horror films that will hire him and holds on faintly to the hopes of making a Hollywood comeback. Vic’s a humble man that won’t make you walk down to the atm machine if you don’t have all his salary and he mainly finds trust and companionship with his canine sidekick, who doesn’t judge him like everyone else. You see he still hasn’t given up on life as he innocently flirts with the cashier at the supermarket while buying his strawberries. There’s a haunting score following as he travels by composer Franco Micalizzi (They Call Me Trinity, The Pistolero) that really speaks volumes of Vic’s state of mind. Another shot at the limelight prevents itself as a phonecall late one night from a hot young director that admire’s Vic’s past work and wants to give him his second chance, the catch is that the executives want him to read for the part which gratly wounds his pride. After contemplating what this would actually mean to his career, Vic gets another shot at the audition and that’s where the clarity of the narrative comes full circle.
Sage Stallone certainly knew the Hollywood business inside out, having been born while his father was making the film that would launch his career. He had a genuine passion for neglected cult films and started Grindhouse Releasing, his knowledge of film can be seen in his casting choices from John Lazar to to Gregory Sierra. In retrospect, Culager was rising fast in popular television series like The Virginian and working with talented filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick and Peter Bogdonavich before ending up in Return Of The Living Dead in the mid eighties which took his career down a different path. There’s similarities in the approach Bogdonavich took in hiring Boris Karloff for Targets that cut to the bone and really let him sink into that role. Clu’s son John was cinamatographer on this film which I think really allowed him the motivation to give the heartfelt performance that’s been in him all along. The one thing that deeply saddens me is the fact that this film proved what a promising talent Sage Stallone was and I can only imagine the great films he would have made if still given the opportunity. Sage Stallone’s work here deserves to be seen and Vic is a testimony to the talent of Clu Gulager, who can now say he’s left his legacy.
This DVD from Grindhouse Releasing offers some great extras that include a montage of scenes from Clu Gulager’s past, a fifteen minute interview and a list of cast & crew biographies.