The Attic Expeditions (2002) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

A strange movie, somewhere in the realm of confused illusion/reality with The Truman Show, Phantasm, and Donny Darko.

What may or may not have happened is that an evil magician decided to reform his ways and hid the all-powerful book of black magic. At least two other groups of people are trying to get it back. First, a psychologist is trying to get the amnesiac magician to remember the location of the book by creating a fully controlled environment for him, ala The Truman Show. (But who does the doctor himself work for? It is not clear.) Second, the magician's dead girlfriend is still wandering the earth, assuming different forms, engaged in her own plan to get the information.

Or maybe not. Maybe time simply exists in some kind of endless loop. Maybe there is no reality at all. Maybe everything exists in some kind of recurring dream. The film suggests a myriad of possibilities and doesn't really commit to a single answer.

In determining whether you'll like this movie, it is important to note that it is never completely clear what is going on, and the ending does not provide "closure". At any time, a character may be imaginary, or may be real, or may be the dead girlfriend assuming another form, or may be an actor hired to play a role in the controlled environment, or may be magick - because magick is real in the film's universe.


Excellent: full frontal nudity from two complete babes, Beth Bates and Sharon Hart Cleary.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Full-screen format, as well as a widescreen anamorphic 1.85:1

  • "making of" featurette

Because the film is confusing and does not care to explain all the details at the end, or even to try to make everything fit logically, many people simply don't like it. Most people prefer their films to have some grounding in reality rather than to exist in unguided free-fall. I don't insist on tying everything together, but I do like a clearer explanation than the one offered by this film. In spite of that personal preference, I thought it was fun. I believe that with a little more budget and a few minor script changes, this could have been an entertaining mainstream mindfuck movie, ala Fight Club or The Game, but without those changes it is often just kind of an incoherent and amateurish mess, albeit an entertaining mess in many ways.

Tuna's Thoughts

The Attic Expeditions (2001) was a real "mind fuck." While watching, it is nearly impossible to tell what is flashback, what is dream, what is reality, what is drama staged for the hero, and what is chemically or implant induced hallucinations. Clearly, Dr. Ek is the bad guy, but who is he really?

Then something odd happened. I couldn't get the film out of my mind, and the more I thought about it, the more conclusions I was able to reach, until I actually thought I understood this odd combination of psychology, mind fuck, the occult, etc. I watched the featurette and discovered that my perception out was what the film makers had intended. Unlike Fight Club, which is a brilliant "mind fuck" film, but explains everything at the end, this one leaves the analysis and explanations to the viewer, barely providing enough clues. The theme of the film is that reality is subjective. Anyone's reality is whatever they perceive it to be at the moment. If they are in a dream state, that is their reality, etc. The technique of the film let us feel some of the confusion of the main character in trying to figure out what was going on around him.

The Critics Vote

  • The film was reviewed only on genre sites, and reviews were decidedly mixed, which is not surprising for a film ungrounded in reality. Creature Corner loved it and gave it 4/5, but Burnout Central hated it and scored it 1.5/4

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 5.5/10. A very high 29% of viewers scored it 10/10, but many people hated it passionately.


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C. Offbeat, confusing, weird, sexy. A different kind of movie, to be sure, which will have a strong cult of supporters, but will be perceived as unresolved gibberish by most viewers. Stay away unless you like puzzle movies and have a strong tolerance for the fact that nothing is ever fully clarified. Tuna says: "First time director Jeremy Kasten has made a very good movie, but one that requires way too much thought for horror genre fans, and has had trouble finding an audience. As for me, it is a film I will re-watch. Clearly not for everyone, it is a C-."

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