When it comes to reviewing ultra-low-budget indie films, it’s best just to tell you what the film is about and let you decide. 13 Mysteries is a $6,000 film written, directed, composed, filmed, and edited by UC Santa Cruz student Julia Noel. You can tell a great deal of time and energy was spent on this project with not-so-surprising results.
13 Mysteries is a 1970s sci-fi tale takin place in the southwestern town of North Cactus City. This small, quirky town has drawn the attention of scientists, philosophers, conspiracy theorist, and a nosy journalist because of an unexplained supernatural event that took place years ago creating thirteen separate mysteries.
“…an unexplained supernatural event that took place years ago creating thirteen separate mysteries.”
The film starts off in documentary fashion with title cards of each thirteen mysteries serving as chapter breaks for the film. It all starts with “The Telephone Mystery.” In standard talking-head fashion, several “experts” and “witnesses” their interaction with strange telephones appearing in odd locations in the desert surrounding North Cactus City. Conveniently plugged into the ground, if you pick up the phone and can get an answer, the voice on the other end speaks an unknown language. It is here we first meet The Investigator (Edward Parker Bolman). The Investigator speaks directly to the camera like a documentarian providing background and play-by-play actions of his journey.