Saturday, April 6, 2013

Samuel Bleak Movie Review

Samuel Bleak is the sordid tale of the son of a writer and a drunk Vietnam vet, living a life in hiding as an outcast. In the opening scene Doctor Ramirez (Deborah Kara Unger) and her senile are mother chatting, soon her mother sees Samuel Bleak scavenging amongst wood scraps in a clearing.

We later learn Samuel is a recluse, hiding in the woods, in a small shack with an old typewriter. He does not speak, but is not mute. He is writing a book, eventually he is discovered by Ruben Ramirez, a local police officer, husband to Unger's character.  Ramirez has a heart, and tries to help Samuel Bleak, tries to get him to eat and get help for his situation.

Above Pic: as Samuel Bleak

Samuel Bleak's Father Charles, portrayed as an abusive drunk, masterfully with Zeal by James Russo. In a flashback he bursts through the door grabbing a sloppy kiss from his wife loud and belligerent and he exclaims, I am sorry son I forgot your birthday, and slams a large Knife on the table and says happy birthday, not before forcing Samuel to close his eyes. Samuel Bleak's Mother was a writer.

Sadness exudes from Samuel's Eyes, as he has seen so much hatred, anger from one parent to last a lifetime. Samuel is admitted to a mental hospital after he does not eat then, the film truly begins.

Above Pic: Keith David, Deborah Kara Unger, David Zayas

Anger, love, consternation, hope, dreams, and a reflective look inside the creative tormented mind. Samuel Bleak is full of great acting and a thoughtful storyline, not only did the film hold my interest, I was thinking about it after the credits crawl. Auspicious, daring, bold, and inventive, while wearing three hats: writer, director, and star brings an amazing effort to the screen, and enlists some experienced and ultra-talented actors in Unger, Russo, along with newcomer as Kat, (whom Bleak befriends in the mental institution). Kelly brings an almost childlike innocence to her suicidal character, refreshing to watch and poignant.

The creative team behind Samuel Bleak are: Tom Conigliaro, Kevin Pugliese are
(Executive Producers), with Bernadette Dugas Producing. Carlucci Weyant is the Executive Producer, Producer, and Co-Developer of Samuel Bleak. The group obviously work well together and have come up with a professional independent film that should easily garner an audience on a major network, and be successful on the home video market. Split Vision Entertainment and Aria Relic Pictures are the companies behind the production.

Samuel Bleak, is not a fast paced film, but thoughtful in approach and direction, and artfully filmed. A worthy effort,  I rate Samuel Bleak an 8 out of 10.

For More info on Split Vision Entertainment go to:

For More info on Aria Relic Cinema go to:!


  1. Great Review! Loved the Film - Francesca

  2. Your review is difficult to read due to poor writing skills. You obviously enjoy writing reviews so make your efforts worthwhile. Review some basic writing rules so the reader can fully appreciate what you have to say. This is offered as constructive and with every kindness.

    1. From Michel's Phone: Oh please! The only errors were with sentance structure- "mother are senile" and the lack of quotation marks after a direct quote. If this prevents you from readily comprehending his review then either English isn't your first language or you enjoy silly knitpicking.

  3. Loved the film. It left my husband and I wondering who actually killed the mother. We want to know.

    1. I also loved the film. It appeared as though the evil father killed his wife in a fire in a locked shack. But my husband and I could never figure out WHY he murdered his wife! Was it just horrible abuse of his wife that led to his murdering her to cover up the abuse? And why was Samuel's dog shot by the father. It appeared late in the movie that Samuel saw his Mother re-appear to him. It ended in a very confusing manner.

  4. My husband and I loved the film, but were totally confused as to the ending. It was obvious that Samuel's evil father shut his wife in a shack, padlocked the door and set fire to it. And the abouse of his wife and child was obvious. Why was the dog shot, too? :-( The odd part is that the wife was "missing" for all those years, and yet there was NEVER an investigation?? It seemed "incomplete" and confusing.


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