Updated: Mar 9
Directed by: #NebulousState
Written by: Nebulous State
A Grindhouse sendup of little talent or style, Punished Liver III is an incomprehensible mess of tropes, inferior filmmaking and waste of time as Nebulous State delivers a thirty-minute video equivalent of playing make-believe in the backyard. Following the story of secret agent Octopus, the film charts his quest to find the assassin of President Oneman and clear his name of his murder but there is no sincerity to any element of this journey, just poor unengaging absurdity and an excuse for these people to wear funny costumes and get very liberal with the blood spatter plugins.
Utilising a lot of clichés from Grindhouse, 80’s B-movies, and possibly the Metal Gear Solid Series, Punished Liver III wants to present itself as an irreverent action romp of gaudy violence and bizarre characters as both Jesus Christ, aliens and a wizard appear in its nonsensical narrative. It’s all a juvenile approach though as if Nebulous State is deliberately trying to make the film as “bad” as possible to earn cult status, no one on-screen takes anything seriously making the delivery of action and comedy feel half-assed. You can’t engineer terrible movie perfection like Samurai Cop or The Room, it’s lightning in a bottle achieved through sheer misfortune and ignorance from the filmmakers.
At every step in the process, Nebulous State presents Punished Liver III in its worst form, from the distracting visual filters to replicate film grain, misused slow motion, terrible dubbing of dialogue and again overly distracting use of digital plugins. It’s a nonsensical mess of mediums as Timberlake’s performance as Octopus can deliver one or two amusing quips but the film overcompensates in its attempts to be edgy and berserk, leaving no room for any tangible reality for the insanity to jump out from. Leaving the film reeking of desperation to be a tongue-in-cheek action comedy when it can never break free from its shortcomings.
There’s nothing wrong with the idea of making dumb films with your friends, hell that’s how all movies are made just with various degrees of money pumped into the idea. Punished Liver III’s issue isn’t its budget but the tone on how it handles its genre and material, there’s no bite to the satire or coherency to its story making its parody fall flat at every turn. Performances consist mostly of impressions or embarrassments and the atmosphere of the story can never evolve past the low budget milieu of friends running in the woods with toy guns, robbing it of any danger or intrigue.