There isn’t a excuse for “Surfer,” an abysmally amateurish self-importance manufacturing finest described as a complete wipeout. Produced, written and directed by Douglas Burke, a USC physics professor who can be well-advised to not stop his day job, it has one thing to do with the fulminations of a pontificating spirit who’s given non permanent corporeality, and one thing else to do with a traumatized younger wave-rider who’s kind of browbeaten again into hanging ten. It’s the kind of film that sustains curiosity from scene to scene solely since you’re always questioning whether or not it may presumably get any worse. On this regard, it seldom disappoints.
The well-nigh unendurable first half focuses on a prolonged and largely one-sided dialog between Sage (Sage Burke, the filmmaker’s son), a younger man who practically drowned throughout a near-fatal browsing mishap just a few years earlier, and Jack, the surfer’s father, who does a lot of the speaking regardless that he’s very severely lifeless. At the least, that’s his story, and he sticks with it.
I don’t should let you know that the multi-tasking Douglas Burke solid himself as Jack, do I?
Sage doesn’t notice the man is his late dad after he fishes him out of the ocean — no kidding, he snares him along with his fishing line — and helps him over to a quiet nook of a spectacularly stunning but curiously abandoned seashore. So Jack introduces himself: “God put me collectively out of squid. And electrical energy. So I may discuss to you for just a few hours.” Then, he coughs up gobs of vile black gunk. “That’s ink,” he explains. No, actually.
Jack proceeds to rant and rave within the method of a brain-addled street-corner preacher, alternating between revisionist takes on biblical luminaries (Adam, Noah, the whale that swallowed Noah, and many others.) and mystical mumbo-jumbo concerning the spirit-healing advantages of browsing. (“The aim of concern is so that you can discover your religion!”) Periodically, he signifies that being the product of squid and electrical energy isn’t completely snug: “I’m residing in an iron maiden of ache, boy!” This offers the elder Burke enough impetus to bug his eyes, scream in agony and make different lame makes an attempt at Critical Appearing.
All through most of this sound and fury, Sage wears an expression that conveys equal measures of sullenness and concern, and provides solely fleeting, monosyllabic replies. He seems and sounds for all of the world like an intimidated adolescent who’s meekly serving as an viewers of 1 for a loopy drunken mum or dad who may flip violent at any second. It’s greater than just a little troubling to contemplate the likelihood that the youthful Burke isn’t merely appearing.
Ultimately, Sage will get away from the seashore and, at Jack’s course, heads towards a top-secret army hospital. (The manufacturing values of this misbegotten film are such that the “hospital” seems to be a cheaply retrofitted storefront workplace.) And that, girls and gents, is the place we be taught Jack’s secret — and uncover that Burke received’t hand over on that Critical Appearing shtick even whereas confined to a wheelchair.
A number of supporting gamers determine into the combo, however it could be needlessly merciless to determine them by title. You could possibly liken their performances to the efforts of actors at a neighborhood theater, however that will be even crueler to neighborhood theater actors. Suffice it to say that “Surfer” is bearable solely throughout a climactic montage of Sage’s wave-riding at numerous spots around the globe. He surfs and he surfs, after which he surfs some extra. After which the film merely stops. It’s not precisely a contented ending, however it’s an ending. One shouldn’t disparage small blessings.