“The Joe Show” is Daniel Falicki’s love letter to post-contemporary, arthouse, psycho drama theatre. The film takes inspiration from the cult cinema of the 60;s, primarily the films that featured the art/beatnik culture as a component. Falicki takes that and shoves it deep in the cut of the modern, serial madman, character study. “The Joe Show” stars Joseph McIntosh as Joe, a man trapped with then the pain of a mundane existence, and fighting the deep rage building within who just happens to find some relief through open mic night at the local hotspot.
“The Joe Show” plays on the title character’s own internal conflict between a repetitious cycle of exposure to a society he feels is without merit, and his own moral obligations to exist within society. Told in a dichotomy of emotional, and expressive dialog scenes where Joe is focused in a spotlight type setting, and dramatic, action scenes of Joe’s life and spiral into madness as his “dark companion” manifests in an imaginary friend called Charlie Nubbins . The whole thing is enveloped under a biographical framework with intimate, raw moments that are truly compelling, stripped down, and well written, and directed.
Even if there wasn’t a drop of blood or corpse exposed in “The Joe Show” it would still be a pretty quality indie flick. There is so much that screams cult classic in the film that the thing would be just fine without, but it is a nice additive to have that practical, low budget bit of effects added to “The Joe Show”. The scenes are darker than the lighter, often humorous scenes that just prove a real connection to the untethered, non-contrived relationship between horror and humanity found in Falicki’s writing. Not just here but in many of his films. The effects are done with an acceptance of budget restraints, and a consideration for practicality. They work in creating the monstrosity that Joe inflicts on his victims without cheapening the moments with complete lack of quality.
Overall, “The Joe Show” is just more proof that Daniel Falicki’s talents move forward toward real substance of artistry, in both telling a chilling story, and an understanding of where to find modern horror that connects with viewers. Even in the darker, more sinister moments there isn’t a real cold sense of brutality. It is suggestive by Joe’s deeds, but it isn’t full on gore, sexploitation stuff. You identify with the fact that Joe’s current break with rationality comes from a place of pain. Not that there isn’t a real monster here because Joe the cabdriver is a true monster. Definitely check out “The Joe Show” because it is a cut above the normal psycho, low budget indie flicks out there.