By Don Simpson | August 13, 2014
Director: Brian McGuire
Writer: Brian McGuire
Starring: Brian McGuire, James Duval, Bret Roberts, Nina Millin, Joey Capone, Zach Slusser, Mark E. Fletcher, Zach Green, Luke McGuire, Emmet McGuire, Tripp Simpson Rezac
Ben Wild (Brian McGuire) is pretty down on his luck, but his helpless state of slackerly affairs is nothing more than a self-perpetuated one. In a sort of rebellion against the system, Ben has no real interest in a career. His only [remote] hope to earn some much needed cash for rent comes in the form of a contest on a website that is mind of like Twitter and YouTube but better.
As long as he can maintain a steady diet of prescription drugs in order to numb himself into a perpetual state of oblivion, Ben remains fully immersed in a perverse world of reality television, video games and online erotic dancers. As the chemicals begin to exasperate Ben’s paranoia and depression, he crashes headfirst down an existential rabbit hole. Ben’s reality shatters into a menagerie of frenetically schizophrenic personalities. Just like Alice, Ben cannot seem to find the correct chemical combination to escape this mess. Occasionally he reaches out to some of his supposed lifelines, but they are usually too self-obsessed to notice just how demented Ben’s personality has become.
Writer-director Brian McGuire creates a wacked-out visual headtrip that drags the audience into Ben’s ever-mutating perspectives of reality, thus allowing WiNdOw LiCkEr to evolve from a simple micro-budget indie into the complex realm of experimental cinema. Rather than letting the low budget special effects hold him back, McGuire brilliantly utilizes them to further develop Ben’s mental state. Ben views the world through the altered lens of video games and reality shows; in his mind, he probably believes that he is a “real” character being manipulated and controlled by omnipotent producers.
McGuire has never been one to shy away from seemingly unlikeable characters — especially ones who usually end up earning some semblance of sympathy due to their sheer patheticness — relishing in the perverted ugliness of human behavior. From the opening music video sequence, it is overwhelmingly obvious that McGuire is going balls to the wall with WiNdOw LiCkEr. As Ben, McGuire seems to be completely free of inhibitions, comfortably wallowing in the character’s absurd eccentricities.
It is only when Ben’s sister (Nina Millin) is onscreen that McGuire takes a backseat and lets someone else take control of this wackadoodle narrative. Playing one of those self-obsessed characters who seem totally oblivious to Ben’s rapidly deteriorating state of being, Nina Millin attacks her lines with zany ferocity. Using a steady flow of caffeine as her muse, Millin comes off as a Slacker-esque character that is all hopped up on speed.
WiNdOw LiCkEr might be too experimental for some, and too rough around the edges for others, but I give filmmakers like McGuire a heck of a lot of credit for continuing to make such ballsy fringe work in a film world that is growing increasingly conformist. There is no denying that McGuire has a totally original voice; no matter how challenging it is, that is precisely what should be applauded in art forms such as film.