Here's what the creatures had to say:
The Ascendant - "Jason Holt’s 1989 film, Desperation Rising, is a disjointed cornucopia of ideas. Nevertheless, its crooked-middle finger approach to filmmaking is still vastly entertaining in a large (preferably drunk) group setting (in this case The Alamo Drafthouse in San Francisco, California). It’s worth the price of admission for a (Prostitution/Sex Slave) Red Room that only plays second-fiddle to Daisuke Yamanouchi’s (sadistic) 1999 film and a finale that will make you realize why Architectural Drawings/Blueprints exist. Desperation Rising isn’t a masterpiece but it’s a reminder of just how much trashy film there is to discover out there." - 2 Stars
Huntress - "This was a bizarre 90 minutes filled with too many people and too much over-dubbing. Watching it was not necessarily enjoyable but still weird enough to be fun (for a lot of it). Although, I still don't really know what was going on." - 3 Stars
Lord Battle - "Desperation Rising is a sometimes sleepy, always nightmarish micro budget dreamscape of late 80's L.A. Micro budget fans will enjoy the casting of real gang members and their failure to intimidate (and act), the exploding cocaine/round house kicks in the 3rd act, and the breakout performance of Nick Cassavetes. Hey, we all gotta start somewhere." - 2.5 Stars
Math Mage - "A nonsensical "film" that has the ego and bad writing/acting of The Room but none of the charm. It's not as terrible as The Room but it would have been more interesting if it was. The story of a stockbroker who hires a prostitute to reassure himself of his sexual prowess and is captured by crack dealers/slave traders. There are many pointless scenes ("insured municipal bonds") and Nick Cassavetes appears as Vanilla Ice but interacts with no other characters." - 1 Star
Trash - "This movie is a treasure. As a fan of insane things that barely make sense to exist, Desperation Rising deserves a trophy for battling through the harsh garbage fire of real life to be an actual movie that you can watch. It's almost hypnotic, how strange it is, the volume of the dialogue totally inconsistent, crazy lines like "FUCK YOU!" suddenly boom in the forefront then disappear behind the bizarre synth soundtrack. Who are these people?! I'm not even sure! There's a gang-war and some girls being forced into prostitution in a horrible red room! There's a blue hallway! There's a yellow crack-den! And there's a stock broker convention. What the fuck!" - 5 Stars
The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)
So DESPERATION RISING is like an experimental video artist decided to make an 80's action movie, but on his way to set he fell down a flight of stairs. Does he have a concussion? Yes. This movie is jam-packed with nightmarish Prostitution rings, too many drugs, phone sex (call 967-HOT), gang wars with real gangsters, and my favorite topic of all, the one that drew me into this movie, finance. That's right, this film teaches you about the grim side of investing, with a moral tale of what happens when you're an investor, and you aren't satisfied with you wife, maybe? I think that's the lesson here!
Son of John Cassavetes and director of THE NOTEBOOK, Nick Cassavetes also has a role in this file. His scenes rule, and are the only time it feels like you're watching a real actor! Because everyone else in this movie is a real life gangster, participating for credit in a rehab program! Damn!
Either way, this movie is bonkers and I'm obsessed with it. The soundtrack especially, as the director is an experimental electric jazz musician.
I've been trying to hunt down director Jason Holt online, with very little success... but my persistence lead me to this website, named after his most recent film TUESDAY NEVER COMES. That's already an incredible title! He's made a handful of movies in California, and they all look pretty fantastic and I have every intention of hunting them down. Anyhow, I have no reason NOT to believe, this is his website, and he participates in some of this music, which is all crazy electronic noise stuff, and completely worth checking out.
And, if you, reading this, are Jason Holt: please let me know. I gotta know what's going on in your crazy brain!
The Overlook Theatre materialized in the New Mission theatre for a screening on 6/15/2017
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.