Jerome is a painter. He's eager to express pain and suffering on canvas. So eager that he chooses to cause/experience real violence in order to channel it into his work. His loved one falls victim to his obsession and soon other people who get exposed to Jerome's work begin to lose lives unable to cope with the anguish he so powerfully portrayed.
the happy couple
THE CATALYST is a recent short by Kidderminster-based filmmaker Thomas Lee Rutter (his brother Andrew John Rutter is also a filmmaker, the author of STATICA).
Recently I received a screener DVD entitled Quadro Bizarro which contains 4 short films including THE CATALYST. At about 17 minutes, THE CATALYST is quite tight and barrages the viewer with beautiful, grainy and at times surreal images. The creepy narration helps shape the unusual but vaguely connected scenes into a coherent whole.
A cameo by the director himself (left)
The cast features Rutter's frequent collaborators Luke Coates (SHOE) and Corina Harper (A CHILD'S TOY).
Jerome and his work
I suppose it would be appropriate to bitch a little about the technical shortcomings of THE CATALYST. But I won't. Fuck it. If you want big explosions and well-recorded live sound you don't delve into UK no-budget DV filmmaking scene. And you don't come to blogs like TRASHFILMADDICT. You get my point.
As usual, camera loves Luke Coates
There are moments in THE CATALYST which feel like pure Jean Rollin, others reminded me of American experimental cinema. But on the whole this is 100% Thomas Lee Rutter.
The music is effective and appropriate. Some of the cold electronic stuff made me think of Giovanni Cristiani's work for Fulci's DEMONIA (1990). But again, these are merely my associations.
What you get here is quality self-produced unusual stuff.
HALLOWEEN meets SUSPIRIA?
THE CATALYST exists because Thomas Lee Rutter wanted it to.
This is not a crowd-pleaser. It's a film that a man has made first of all for himself.
Not to win over financial backers or to gain commercial profit.
Depending on how tired you are of current studio product, THE CATALYST may strike you as either too rough or highly promising. If you liked the screengrabs I suggest you see for yourself.
Thomas Lee has recently started his own blog Carnie film production which covers his newest, most eccentric output.