(Ray Dennis Steckler, 2008)
No craft-versus-content tension here. Self shot on retina-scouring Hi 8, Steckler's final film is incredibly ugly and formless - not least because it expends half its running time on huge undigested slabs of "Incredibly Strange Creatures," to which it purports to be a sequel. It gains only the most passing smidgen of resonance from Steckler's autumnal moodiness. The downcast panorama of Santa Cruz, the extended run-ins with his shrink, the hairy bar band playing Steckler's Greatest Hits, the starlet's rejection at the pizzeria, the video store owner who can't scare up an investor for his next movie - all these things add up to a lament for the unfulfilled promise of his own career. But budget or no budget, it's hard to believe that someone who has been making movies for almost half a century could present these themes in such a crudely artless way - swinging his camcorder around aimlessly, squelching from one orphaned unlit episode to the next, the thing is damn near unwatchable. Rest in peace, Ray.