All The Lord’s Men Image

All The Lord’s Men

By Michael Talbot-Haynes | July 18, 2022

The surreal estate in Los Angeles can’t be beat in writer/director Andrew Burton’s untypical All The Lord’s Men. The official synopsis is two Los Angeles detectives, Jimmy (Andrew Burton) and Jerry (Noel Mirabal), with no good leads investigate nothing. This is exemplified by the image of both standing in the middle of the desert dressed in trench coats and bad ties from old T.V. shows. Think Beckett’s Waiting for Godot meets the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage video. Sometimes they claim to be working for the L.A.P.D. Other times they say they are private.

During the investigation they are not conducting, they go to an L.A. party house to interview writer Larry (William Castrogiovanni), along with his pals Dr. Busner (Matt Fling) and Shelia (Malaika Lue-Hing). Jimmy starts something with house guest Ines (Ayden Skye), who has already started something with Myra (Iris Braydon). Officer Ray (Ryan Stroud) and Officer Miles (London May) constantly hang around, as do two girls from New Zealand, Allison (Gracie Lacey) and Jindabyne (Morgan Michaud). Federico (Simone Attenni) is up to something, and word is the French are coming to take over. Everything goes topsy turvy, though, once Myra finds out that she is God, a series of events twist the night away.

All The Lord’s Men doesn’t have a story. It is an experience designed to freak you out. It is made in the underground film tradition of removing the plot to allow the strangeness to gestate across the running time. And I am so glad about it. Suppose you have a limited budget with no props but lots of acting talent. In that case, it’s better to go with some wacko mojo like this instead of making another stale movie built around discussions of relationships and dating jokes. If we are to drink basement film liquor, then let’s spike it with some narrative L.S.D. to add a little color. This improves the humor impact, as it’s merely the icing on the big pan of head f**k cake.

During the investigation they are not conducting, they go to an L.A. party house…”

All The Lord’s Men gives us surrealism in the grand Los Angeles tradition of the likes of Robert Downey Senior’s underground mindbuster Greaser’s Palace. L.A surreal offers melting shades of two worlds: the elevated and the profane. We will have characters suddenly speak in French or Italian before diving into a well-placed swarm of cussing. Reflections on spiritual matters carry a constant throbbing undertone of bisexual horniness. Grand visions of the potential of existence burst into pop culture sitcom labyrinths. It is a dichotomy that is organic to the city itself and makes for some wonderful weirdness. What you sacrifice in story momentum is replenished by unpredictability and outlandishness. I was not bored once getting lost in lotus land. Room8’s amazing retro synth score adds a ton of production value to the proceedings. The music, as well as the Manhunter-like 80s credits, impart a feeling of timelessness onto the wtf material.

All the performances are good, as the actors handle bizarre material with buyable reactions. Burton and Mirabal not only hold down the trench coat archetypes but breathe life into their personas. Braydon and Skye deliver the goods, and both feel like actresses we should be seeing a lot more of. Seeing musician May fully dressed as a cop is priceless, as he was the drummer for Samhain and is currently in Ministry.

All The Lord’s Men follows a cinematic tradition of being untraditional that spans decades. This is not for everyone, as it doesn’t have any installed plot to engage with emotionally. Like a party in a strange house filled with odd characters and unusual opportunities, it will be up to the viewer’s level of participation to determine how much fun will be had. If you like your movies to be indie as f**k, chances are this is your bag, baby.

All The Lord's Men (2022)

Directed and Written: Andrew Burton

Starring: Andrew Burton, Noel Mirabal, Iris Braydon, Ayden Skye, William Castrogiovanni, London May, Ryan Stroud, Gracie Lacey, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

All The Lord's Men Image

"…a dichotomy that is organic to the city itself and makes for some wonderful weirdness."

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  1. Magnolia says:

    Good God how does that matt fling busner guy think he’s an actor?! I don’t know what is worse. That someone hired him or that he thinks he should pursue this

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