PIC of the Week – Dave Made a Maze
Article series by Ray Schillaci
I’m going out on a scary limb here not picking one of my personal favorites of last year, Stephen King’s IT, which I’ll put as a very close second. My PIC release came out with as little fanfare as its very limited theatrical release. In fact, writer/director Bill Watterson’s brilliantly creative, witty and funny Dave Made a Maze is probably one of the most overlooked films of the year. I wasn’t even aware that it was released awhile ago until now while scouring through Hulu!
Dave never manages to finish anything. He can’t even maintain full employment. Yet, his girlfriend puts up with him even when he goes as far as making a cardboard maze in the living room of her apartment. Ridiculous, right? No, it gets better. When his girlfriend comes home from a hard day’s work and finds the concoction littering her place, he insists that not only can she not take it apart, but he’s lost inside of it, and it’s much bigger on the inside than the outside.
This prompts Annie to enlist their friends to try and coax Dave out of his maze. He informs them that he’s injured and warns them there are booby-traps set up and that venturing in can be dangerous. This all sounds silly, and Annie, their friends, along with a micro-budget camera crew brave the new world Dave has created.
It ends up being like Alice Through the Looking Glass but with cardboard and all other kinds of paper products. From the moment the group enters, we are treated to a wildly inventive ride that is part Monty Python mixed with a demonic child’s sense of humor. Dave Made a Maze is absurdity at its finest. It’s a gonzo hour and twenty-minutes that is well worth the time invested.
Disappointing news, Gravitas Ventures is releasing, but Amazon states on its website that this disc is manufactured “on demand” using BD-R recordable media. This may account as to why this Blu-ray or DVD cannot be found at Walmart, Best Buy, or Fry’s Electronics. The Blu-ray is a 1080 HD transfer and the sound is a DTS-HD Master with 5.1 sound. Picture is relatively good, and sound has some unique traits with all the weird and funny sound effects in the maze.
¥ Audio commentary with writer/director Bill Watterson and writer Steve Sears
¥ 22 minute behind-the-scenes explaining construction and where materials came from
¥ Interviews with cast and creative team on set and at film festivals
¥ Extended versions of scenes
It’s sad when an independent film so creative receives so little love by the people who invest in it. So aggravating seeing this cast and crew work so hard for something so different and entertaining, and have it practically discarded. But, Dave Made a Maze did have its fans at various film festivals where audiences laughed out loud and cheered. For those who have Hulu or wish to rent it on Amazon, may I strongly suggest taking the tour of Dave’s Maze and prepare yourself for something completely different, fun, and a little bit naughty.