Throughout the film, one mystery leads to another. There’s a weather mystery, when the total number of storms during any given month total to a prime number—clearly, someone has to be responsible for the weather. Then there are the prophets who live in the mysterious area giving fortune cookie-type information about the past. How about strange numbers are written in chalk appearing and not appearing on random rock formations. There’s the discovery of other-worldly debris with peculiar qualities, a mysterious bearded criminal, and “The Amnesia Zone” where…
This film does have a plot. North Cactus City is in the middle of a mayoral election. The current mayor Percival Baird (Buzzsaw) is running for re-election, but there is a conspiracy afoot to unseat the beloved political figure. Can the election of the mayor and the mysterious goings-on be related in any way? Can it???
“…the discovery of other-worldly debris with peculiar qualities, a mysterious bearded criminal, and ‘The Amnesia Zone’ where…”
I struggle to review 13 Mysteries for two reasons. One, from a filmmaking standpoint It’s problematic from beginning to end. Two, I could just feel the vast amount of effort writer/director Julia Noel put into the final product and I refuse to be an evil dream-crusher.
I’ll start briefly with problems any new filmmaker faces when she or he has no budget. First is the limitation of available actors of quality. 13 Mysteries is dialogue-heavy, which is a challenge for non-veteran actors to pull off. In other words, the acting came off as terrible community theater quality. Also, the shot composition had problems as well. When framing scenes, be aware of the background behind actors, so lamps and tree branches are not growing out of their heads. Lighting can also be an issue particularly in exterior shots as the ever-moving sun can cast unattractive shadows over the faces of the actors. Regarding editing, the overall pace moves slow. Individual takes could be tightened and the pace of the film picked up significantly.
"…shooting in a satirical, surrealist style providing again visually interesting scenes."