By Eric Campos | July 25, 2005

Uncomfortable family get-togethers – always an overflowing source of good entertainment. The filmmakers behind “My Firkin Family: Volume 1” realize that and have thus presented us with a family Christmas celebration that may just cause you to squirm, debating on calling off family get-togethers from here on out.

Breaking up with his latest girlfriend, Gavin goes home for Christmas only to compete in the Who’s the Weirdest Family Member sweepstakes. And I don’t mean David Lynch weird, because that’s pretty fuckin’ weird, I mean normal family bullshit weird. Mom, Dad, Sister, Grandma and Gavin pass the time swapping bizarre invention ideas and embarrassingly open outlooks on life…and sex. Yes, this is a very open family. Sister even decides to come out of the closet at this little get-together. Not that this really shocks anyone in the least as they’re too busy wrapped up in their own little worlds to really care. Don’t have a family of your own to get-together with? Then this movie will make you appreciate that.

“My Firkin Family” is well-written and the performances are alright, good enough to pass the time with, but there’s a major problem throughout that made me cringe way more than the embarrassing family situations and it’s that this movie looks and sounds absolutely awful. Everything from poor camerawork (bad video zooms and shots that are completely out of focus), weird edits, tinny dialogue, bizarre buzzes and ringing in the background…I mean, I don’t want to be the bad guy here by beating up on a little indie, but it’s like this, hear me now: The micro-budget indie already has it hard enough in trying to get and keep an audience – no recognizable faces, usually not the best acting and minimal production value – but a good show will always keep that audience’s interest and part of that good show is presentation. If your micro-budget indie looks and sounds like s**t, then that’s the end of that. The audience will turn to another movie that gives the appearance that the filmmakers put more time and care into what they were presenting. I’m not saying that the filmmakers behind “My Firkin Family” didn’t care about their project, I’m just saying that it really doesn’t look like they did and that’s a bad impression to give to your audience. It’s like going out on a first date and wearing ripped up jeans and a “Who Farted?” t-shirt. That date is not going to go well…unless your date is the coolest person on Earth! And that’s my point here – people have only so much patience, even people that watch micro-budget indie stuff on a regular basis, so hoping to find that coolest audience on Earth that will gladly put up with awful filmmaking is way more than a longshot.

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