By Rory L. Aronsky | August 5, 2003

If there’s one thing more intriguing than family relations in film, it’s TWISTED family relations. It can range from arguments around the Thanksgiving table to rattling skeletons that come bursting out of the closet. In “Cave People”, director James Mirarchi has shown great improvement since Beer and Art and his new work is great fun.
There’s been sick little games played before in film but try this one out: Josh (Matthew Gardner) is a mentally disturbed man who spends nearly all day drawing pictures that younger children would likely come up with. His slutty sister, Tammy (Kerry Gudjohnsen) comes home with a new lover everyday and as the horizontal mambo commences, Josh sneaks to where she is with a timer, timing how long his sister rides each guy. As it so happens, the parents of both siblings are dead, leaving Tammy to take care of Josh. A little clichéd in that department, but nothing to worry about.
When Josh takes out the garbage one day, he sees Gina (Caridad Francisca) and waves to her and that’s it for that round. The next time around, they finally do meet and you might think that it is love at first sight, but not so. They talk about their lives and Josh talks about living with his sister and he also reveals that he’s gay. Soon enough, Tammy comes home with yet another guy named Tyrone (David Nelson) who Josh fancies, but Tammy would not be likely to let Josh get near him. As it so happens, Gina dabbles in witchcraft and it all progresses there into a climax (somewhat literally) and ending that’s worth it because of a line that one of Tyrone’s friends spouts out of shock. However, it is also a bit of a disappointment because of how it is executed. Certainly you’d think free will would be possible here and it would certainly have been much more interesting that way and would have provided more of an uproarious ending than just that one line alone by Tyrone’s friend.
Nevertheless, James Mirarchi’s work is becoming much more interesting. His actors are clearly into what they do, though Kerry Gudjohnsen seems to be channeling Kathy Bates’ voice at one point, not literally, but by the slight twang in her voice. Matthew Gardner is a great surprise and gives it his all in this role, not to mention that he and Caridad Francisca have terrific chemistry together, making their scenes worthwhile.
Give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose here!

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