A group of friends experience more than just a close encounter when they head deep into the forest in search of a marijuana plant that is quite literally ‘out of this world’ in Richard Cranor’s “Star Leaf”, which is out on DVD in the US now, exclusively from Leomark studios.
Set in Washington state park, a couple of former marines, James (Julian Gavilanes - TVs "Z-Nation") and Tim (Tyler Trerise), along with girlfriend Martha (Shelby Truax) are given a map, showing the location of a rather potent crop of Marijuana plants which are growing in the middle of the forest.
Legend has it that the crop grew from alien spores, but in any case Tim hopes it will cure James’s PTSD, which he suffered after his last tour in Afghanistan. They’re given a very strict set of rules, they can smoke as much as they like, but mustn’t take any photos, collect any plant clippings or use any GPS devices to get there.
Having found the plants and spent the night getting extremely high, they prepare to head back. But when Tim tries to smuggle some leaf clippings back with him, the group find the road out blocked and themselves being stalked by a number of bizarre figures. A wild-man clad in animal furs, a rather unorthadox forest ranger and even a group of extra-terrestrial aliens, who all seem to be after them for one reason or another.
Are the group really in danger from these strange foes, or just experiencing a bad trip from smoking too much weed? Well, you’ll just have to watch and find out for yourself. Produced by Robert Leeshock (actor – TVs “Earth : Final Conflict”) and directed by Richard Cranor, who also appears as the Forest Ranger, this is a weird sort of film to categorise. If you’ve ever seen “Jacob’s Ladder”, try to imagine that crossed with one of those movies about people being stalked in a forest, and it's kind of like that.
Whether you’ll enjoy this will of course depend on your love of low budget indie films. The acting was fine, there was some good use of panoramic shots, but there was also some dodgy CGI. However, the black humour worked well (beware of randy Aliens) and I thought Russel Hodgkinson’s aging hippy character Seth was hilarious.
The screener I reviewed did not contain any extras, so I have no idea if the retail release will contain anything.
The film is currently available exclusively through the official website at http://www.starleafmovie.com
The film will later be available on DVD and VOD through usual outlets.