★★.5 out of ★★★★★
This film is ambitious. The God Inside My Ear lets you know that it’s ambitious from the first frame all the way until the credits start to roll. The movie poster, the soundtrack, the hallucinogenic lunacy. It never relents, never drops off in its earnestness, and above all, deftly hides the fact that it has bitten off a pinch more than it can chew. Not a disgusting amount mind you, but enough to let you know that it needs a couple napkins after this healthy psychotropic meal. It bit off a lot, looked at its full plate, but made the hasty decision that one more bite just might be the right call. Clearly first-time writer/director Joe Badon is a hungry boy, but he might need to clean up a bit after this multicolored pig out.
On its face The God Inside My Ear is simple love story involving a man a woman and God. Or rather Fred (Joseph Estrade), Elizia (Linnea Gregg), and God. Shortly after the first of many psychedelic interludes, the film opens with Fred (who looks an awful lot like THE Jesus Christ) discussing his newfound foray in to the outer depths of the universe, his freaky consciousness awakening, his encounters with God, and lizard people. Elizia responds as any healthy young lover would with despair, anguish, and some well-earned drinks with her close circle of pals. In her time of need Elizia also discloses Fred’s fascination with astral planes, God, and lizard people. Her friends assure her that she’s not the problem, but Fred’s conscious-expanding freakout is indeed the relationship killer culprit…or is he?
As Elizia slips in to the dark depths of melancholy she too starts to hear voices, see mind-bending colors and shapes, and receive random calls from the telemarketer. Not exactly terrifying to hear from an anglo-voiced telemarketer, but this one knows a little too much about Elizia, her whereabouts, and her deepest darkest emotions. Throughout her psychedelic peccadillos Elizia also runs across a gaggle of bad dates, a talking gnome, an unpleasant therapist, and a dog that seemed to be channeling the famed Hanna-Barbera character, Snagglepuss. After an increasing number of mind-bending and conspiracy-addled encounters what’s a girl to do? Take a big old dose of the hyper-psychedelic drug ayahuasca. Couldn’t hurt, right?
As these colorful episodes roll on, Director Joe Badon slowly reveals that dear Elizia may not be of this world and may in fact be caught in some sort of freakbeat purgatory. The film’s climax isn’t so much a climax as it is a subtle, and somewhat mundane reveal. After ingesting an hour and a half of full-tilt mind-expanding action it’s tough to end on a Sixth Sense-like reveal. This needed so much more, or alternatively, so much less.
The God Inside My Ear stays true to its ambitious path and never veers too much from its purpose. It’s safe to say that his much psychedelia packed in to a single film is a lot too take and it’s also a lot to manufacture. Make no mistake, there’s some strange things happening in God Inside My ear, but this doesn’t really qualify as a true-blue horror film. A couple odd scenes, but just not horror. While God Inside My Ear is not fully realized in each and every scene, nor as a horror film, it’s an impressive film considering it was shot for $8,000 in 13 days. Yes. You heard that right. By all accounts, that’s some stellar and crafty film-making. One might even say it’s ambitious.
The God Inside My Ear is likely an R rating, and currently on the film festival circuit.