The Horror Zine Film Review
It's Over: Nephilim
A Snout Productions Film
Directors: Caleb Straus and Dustin Johnson
It's Over: Nephilim
A Film from Snout Productions
Review by C. Dennis Moore
I get a lot of requests for reviews and more often than not I just have to say no thanks. Okay, so a lot of times I WANT to say no thanks—actually what I WANT to say is UGH, not if you paid me. But three filmmakers I can’t imagine saying no thanks to are Jessi Gotta, Edward Romero, and Caleb Straus. So when I got an email from Caleb saying, “Hey the last part of our It’s Over trilogy is done, would you like to review it?” He didn’t even have to ask. Just send it, because I knew that, no matter what, having seen and enjoyed the first two films in the series…this last one, if it’s a true Snout Production, was going to be just as trippy and exciting.
I wasn’t wrong.
This final film in the series deals with earth 1000 years after Armageddon. Angels and demons find themselves at the mercy of a new enemy who wants to, not only remake the world in their own image, but undo all the work Lucifer and the angels have fought so hard for. The result is 80 minutes of an acid trip set to heavy metal and wild visuals.
What struck me this time is that, while the first two movies felt really complex and involved (It’s Over: Nephilim is more of the same), but this time there is an even greater intelligence. This time it feels even more like the writing/producing/directing duo of Caleb Straus and Dustin Johnson (in whose memory the film is dedicated) were doing more than just making a movie they felt might help get them out of their respective ruts in life.
This film truly has something to say and the filmmakers took the time, did the research, and spent the energy world building in order to flesh out their concept and really focus on creating a smart, intricate plot. There’s depth here. And I appreciate the effort they put into it and want them to know it shows.
I’m also glad so much of the previous cast has returned. Straus steps in front of the camera to return to his role as Lucifer—a role I have, in full disclosure, written for them when I was invited to write a story set in their world, and I have to say I’ve seldom had as much fun writing a character as I did writing Caleb Straus as Lucifer. But that’s just the energy he always brings to the role. It’s like, if there was one role he was born to play, this is it.
Johnson himself returned as a very different version of his Nathaniel Brymstone character while Errich Peterson is back as a much more subdued Zane Enzo. The heart of the series, though, for me, is seeing Angela Finley returned. She brings a center to these movies that grounds them, whether she’s playing Dr. Cortez, Mary or … one of the other characters she portrays in these movies. If Straus’s Lucifer is the emotional core of the series, Finley is the head.
It’s clear to see how much stronger Straus and Johnson have become as filmmakers. It’s Over: Nephilim jumps wildly from place to place and time to time in telling its story, but the Snout duo managed to cut the film in a way that those individual scenes really come together to make a comprehensive whole. But it’s not just that, it’s really everything.
They’ve grown so much in every aspect of their jobs here. The acting is better, the writing so much stronger, even the fight scene choreography is ten times stronger than it was the first time around. Overall, It’s Over: Nephilim is not only a fun mind-bender of a movie, but they really went out on a grand scale. Damn good work, guys.
And the next time there’s a Snout Productions movie in need of a reviewer, don’t even ask; just SEND IT. They're all that good.
Buy the DVD HERE
About the filmmakers
Caleb Straus is the artistic director and co-founder of Snout Productions, as well as the vocalist for Industrial Rock band Emzy Enzy, the more subdued and jazzy Wurmhole, and the founder of experimental alt-rock outfit Disgruntled Embryo. He has worked as an educator, theatre practitioner, and filmmaker in the Austin area for nearly a decade. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Theatre Directing and completes his second and terminal Masters (MFA) in May of 2016. Snout Productions was formed with his childhood best friend and creative partner, Dustin Johnson, whom he created Emzy Enzy and the It’s Over Trilogy with. Dustin sadly passed away in May of 2015. Straus remains the creative front of all Snout endeavors in his honor.
Dustin Johnson was the co-founder of Snout Productions, the creator of the It’s Over concept, and mind behind Snout Productions’ long-standing musical act, Emzy Enzy, for which he played guitar, and wrote a good chunk of the music. He held an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design from Texas State Technical College and was in charge of all graphic design and art direction related to Snout Productions. In addition, he played the role of Nathaniel Brymstone/The Mentor in all three It’s Over films.
Dustin sadly passed away last May during production of It’s Over: Nephilim, but the cast and crew kept the ship running, and completed the film in his honor. Dustin is survived by his parents and daughter, Taiza, but lives on through his art.
About the reviewer
C. Dennis Moore
C. Dennis Moore lives in St. Joseph, Missouri. He’s been writing just about forever with over sixty stories and novellas published, plus a collection of his short stories called Terrible Thrills. Recent and upcoming publications include the Vile Things anthology from Comet Press and his novella Epoch Winter will be published by Drollerie Press.