Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sean Kelly

Indie Spotlight: Destination: Rad City

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Indie Spotlight is a series focusing on reviews of independent films

A man stuck in the 1980s aspires to travel to a music festival in the low-budget independent comedy Destination: Rad City.  Rick Trickanovsky (Boris A. Godzinevski) is a man living in the town of Keswick, Ontario, who is obsessed with the fashion and culture of the 1980s.  One day, Rick decides to fulfill his late father’s wish and travel to the Rocklahoma 1980s music festival in the United States.  In order to afford to make this road trip, Rick decides to form a band and enter a music competition.

Co-directed by writer/star Boris A. Godzinevski and David Hollands, Destination: Rad City is pretty campy homage to 1980s culture.  The film is built around the 1980s-loving persona of Rick, who is always wearing tacky clothes and considers Don Johnson to be a personal role model.  Rick’s obsession with the 1980s makes him come off as weirdo to other people, particularly women.  Not having much success with relationships, Destination: Rad City has a pretty humorous recurring gag of Rick dreaming about the various women he meets, only to suddenly wake up when things start to get good.  In fact, dreams are big part of the plot of Destination: Rad City, with Rick having repeated visions in his head, particularly of his father giving him the Rocklahoma flyer.

While the plot of Destination: Rad City is leading up to the ultimate goal of the Rocklahoma music festival, the film is much more about the crazy hijinks that Rick finds himself getting to over the course of many months.  Much of the film is spent with Rick putting together a band for the music competition, which includes him producing a very tacky star wipe-filled promotional video.  At the suggestion of his alcoholic friend Marcus (Matthew McManus), Rick goes to find women for his music video, which leads to him pursuing his former flame Vicki (Keren Ray).  This pursuit includes a trip to Ottawa, where Rick attends a party with coked out sleaze ball Donnie (Brent Baines).

For a film shot on a very low budget, Destination: Rad City is a pretty well constructed film.  While it’s pretty obvious that many of the characters are film are played by non-professionals, resulting in some pretty bad acting, there is still a certain campy charm to the film.  It is pretty fun watching the many ridiculous 1980s references, including a brick phone (that doesn’t even work) and a training sequence that includes Rick bench-pressing a Nintendo Entertainment System.  While some of the sound in the film is a little rough around the edges, Destination: Rad City has some pretty decent cinematography for its budget, including some night time driving shots.  The film also has pretty decent score, filled with guitar tracks and faux 80s dance music.

While far from a cinematic masterpiece, Destination: Rad City is a pretty cheesy, yet fun to watch, low budget homage to 1980s culture.

8 | LIKED IT

For information on screenings of Destination: Rad City, please check the film’s official website.

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).