|Starring:||Jim Wynorski, Julie K. Smith and Julie Strain|
|The Plot: Popatopolis is a behind the scenes look at the most prevalent b-movie genre that the world has left: softcore pornography. Director Jim Wynorski has worked in nearly every genre imaginable, but his latest cinematic experimentation will push him to his very limits. He has taken on the challenge of shooting a feature length film in only three days, with a miniature sized budget. So, he heads out into the woods with his three-man crew as well as his lead actor and actresses in order to craft his latest masterpiece, The Witches of Breastwick. Popatopolis shows us the internal drama of creating this film while also covering Wynorski’s illustrious career. Featuring interviews with outside sources who point out just how much the b-movie world has changed over the years, we get a sense of Wynorski’s willingness to adapt to whatever audiences gravitate to. While covering this, the audience ponders whether Wynorski will be able to complete his latest feature, or will it simply go over long and over budget?|
I realize that the film is intended to paint Wynorski as a funny, humorous, and charismatic man, and all of these things he partially is, but I could not help but feel slightly aggravated with his constant negativity. A man who rarely has a kind word to say, the film showcases him wandering from one life experience to the next with a sour demeanor and a general lack of tact when it comes to dealing with people. His disrespect for filmmaking, as it almost seems treated as a “hustle” for him, also leaves me lacking a great deal of general respect for the man as a artist. The concept of shooting a film in three days is admirable as a form of experimentation, but doing so with only the hope of making a stack of money, without a care for how lousy the movie itself may inevitably turn out to be, simply seems disrespectful and leads me to shaking my head in embarrassment. It doesn’t matter, to me as a viewer, that Wynorski and his confidants all poke fun at this fact. The fact of the matter is that this lack of care for the film shows up in the product, and regardless of whether or not Cinemax bought it for a handful of cash, the movie still inevitably stinks. The real shame is that Wynorski obviously has talent. Few filmmakers could make a movie in such a short period of time, with as grand a scope as The Witches of Breastwick, and still have it turn out moderately watchable. Wynorski is able to do that, but one wonders what he might be able to do if he actually gave his scripts some time to develop, or actually tried to engage his audience through storytelling instead of boobs only.