Breaking up sucks. Even when you’ve been waiting for it to happen, you’re left with a void of loss knowing that the intimacy you once shared will never return. When it comes unexpectedly, however, it can be seriously rattling. For his directorial debut, writer/director Joe Badon pushes that shattering moment to the extreme with his quirky science fiction/horror/comedy/art film hybrid, The God Inside My Ear.
Elizia (Linnea Gregg), meets her new age conspiracy nut boyfriend Fred (Joseph Estrade) for dinner when he breaks up with her to pursue a higher power. Distraught, Elizia sinks into depression and goes through the motions of life at work, with her friends and on dates. She slowly unravels, plagued by voices, visions, strange phone calls and neighbors. Eventually, she sinks to a level of insanity that leads her to her final destiny.
“…she sinks to a level of insanity that leads her to her final destiny.”
As a new director, Badon has turned out an impressive work. His visual style combines quick editing with symbolic imagery similar to French New Wave films and Melvin Van Peebles. The story draws heavily from Roman Polanski’s 1965 Repulsion and especially the original 1962 Carnival of Souls, which even appears onscreen a few times. Despite the dark subject matter, a twisted sense of humor pervades, recalling Tribeca’s fabulous 2018 entry Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss by Passing Through the Gateway Chosen By the Holy Storsh. Additionally, the conspiracy theme and fancy camera work are similar to Damon Packard’s work.
It’s not perfect, though. Gregg’s performance shines but some of the other actings isn’t so good. Also, we’ve seen the end “twist” so many times before it basically has no impact. Fortunately, these elements aren’t strong enough to ruin the film.
In the end, Joe Badon has placed himself on the map with a strong work of art that will send him up the ladder in no time. The only direction to go from here is up.
The God Inside My Ear (2018) Directed by Joe Badon. Written by Joe Badon. Starring Linnea Gregg, Joseph Estrade, Rhonda Laizer, Steve Smith and William Tokarsky.
7 out of 10 stars