Parking Lot 3D: Film Review

Dude, where’s my movie?

Second English-language feature from Italian director Francesco Gasperoni and writer-star Harriet MacMasters-Green, the film borrows at least part of its twisted “game” premise from the "Saw" series.

TAORMINA — So poorly conceived that it makes Ed Wood look like Ingmar Bergman, Parking Lot 3D – billed as the first Italian feature shot entirely in that digital format – is the equivalent of watching someone’s high school video project on the big screen, except that even a teenager could do better than this thrill-less exercise in genre filmmaking. Second English-language feature from Francesco Gasperoni (Smile) and his co-writer-star Harriet MacMasters-Green, about a woman being chased around a garage by ridiculous masked men, will quickly be impounded after validating its ticket at Taormina.

It’s hard to imagine how anyone could do much worse than this terribly made concoction, which seems to borrow at least part of its twisted “game” premise from the Saw series, though minus the gore and without a single ounce of humor (at least intentionally).

When Lorna (MacMasters-Green) – a diabetic British blond who lives in Rome but doesn’t speak Italian – heads from the shopping mall to search for her car, she’s attacked from behind with a taser gun. Waking up hours later to discover the lot closed and her medication stolen, she finds herself tormented by a gang of losers wielding toy guns, one of which they leave on a toilet seat in the garage bathroom beside the words “Come and Play.” Their mission: scare this helpless victim, and somehow, the audience.

But that’s simply not happening when your biggest set piece involves a room filled with pink balloons, when your only action scene features a Smart car driving at 20 mph, and when a crucial fight sequence shows a homeless man (Massimo De Lorenzo) hitting somebody with a sock. Not even Gasperoni’s attempts at crudely lit 3D frights can redeem this onslaught of incompetence, which inadvertently offers up one of the year’s most memorable lines when Lorna finally gets the upper hand, corners a bad guy and shouts: “Where’s my insulin!?”

Venue: Taormina Film Festival
Production companies: Moviemaker
Cast: Harriet MacMasters-Green, Francesco Martino, Massimo De Lorenzo, Marius Bizau
Director: Francesco Gasperoni
Screenwriter: Francesco Gasperoni, Harriet MacMasters-Green
Producer: Francesco Gasperoni, Harriet MacMasters-Green
Director of photography: Francesco Gasperoni, Corrado Serri
Production designer: Roberto Conforti
Music: Daniel Falangone
Editor: Claudio Del Bravo
Sales Agent: Moviemaker
No rating, 84 minutes

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