Total Male Fantasy No. 10 Image

Total Male Fantasy No. 10

By Bradley Gibson | March 22, 2023

Total Male Fantasy No. 10 features a compelling narrative, which is a good thing, given the production values. Unfortunately, the quality is abysmal by nearly every standard of filmmaking except for the script and the acting. The lack of craft feels like something from a student project with a jumble of styles and bizarre affectations. The sound is terrible, with voices muted or echoing. Scenes appear to be lit naturally, but in many cases, the light source is behind the characters, which means their faces are hidden in shadow.

The aspect ratio changes randomly, as does the film resolution. Sometimes the image is crystal clear (mostly outdoors), and sometimes it’s grainy and so murky it’s hard to make out what is happening. There are sections presented in split screen, with half of the screen showing what looks to be the actors with their scripts reading the lines. Is this rehearsal? Hard to say. Does it add to the movie in any meaningful way? It doesn’t. The film makes you actively work to follow along and understand the actions and dialogue. It’s almost as if Lawler did this intentionally and defies you to keep up. Despite the headwind of the poor quality, the actors manage to sell the story’s emotional impact and really engage the audience, which is nothing short of astounding.

“…the actors manage to sell the story’s emotional impact…”

The soundtrack, on the other hand, is a completely different story. It is full of amazing indie music. Saltz and Lawler are both music aficionados and put together some stellar tunes.

Given the subtitle of The Monster Movie, we get that Tommy is the monster in question. With this situation, the film could go wrong in many cringe-inducing ways, but it doesn’t. The women in the cast add a layer of energy and emotional depth and save Total Male Fantasy No. 10. They make the film more than just a wishful lark about a seemingly unemployed dude with a dad-bod who has three awesome women in his life for no discernible reason.

Total Male Fantasy No. 10 (2021)

Directed and Written: David Lawler

Starring: Alex Saltz, Meredith Sweeney, Geraldine Dulex, Regan Lawler, Sarah Misch, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Total Male Fantasy No. 10 Image

"…could go wrong in many cringe-inducing ways..."

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