Raging Cyclist

By Peter Canavese

Here's a chance to support a local filmmaker who's in it for the long haul. Sean McCarthy's half-hour "Raging Cyclist" is a gonzo blend of Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Evil Dead, pitting a bike-riding naif against a sinister Devil Hunter or, perhaps, himself. The Cyclist's trials on the trail change him with dark knowledge of a harsh world and his own capacity to face it. But McCarthy refreshingly plays much of the film for laughs: the Cyclist—in his bright yellow "Live Clean, Bike Mean" T-shirt (back side: happy face) is no match for a trio of nasty playground girls. Incipient filmmakers will want to take note of the editing and use of after effects to create disorienting mood on a limited budget, with limited resources. McCarthy has his Bruce Campbell in amiably goofy star Ephraim Joseph and good support from orchestral composers Jon & Al Kaplan. Though the final confrontation lacks the clear-lined composition of earlier sequences, McCarthy makes terrific use of location and punctuates the piece expressively. Recommended.