Neato, a large and slow guy, is living in a town where a puzzlebox competition is being held. One day when Neato is at the store, he gets a puzzlebox in his hands. Seconds later he has finished the puzzlebox. The store clerks are shocked, and one of them decides that he will be Neato's agent for the competition, and that they will split the $500 prize.
If you thought that "The Prodigy" was misplaced in our database of reviews, then this one will shock you. This is purely a comedy, not a single moment of horror in it, and it's not surreal, bizarre, sick, disgusting, twisted or anything remotely like that. What is it doing here? It's an independent film from a brand new filmmaker (who happens to be the first person ever to be interviewed by Film Bizarro). Rayen Belchere is a songwriter and musician, and this is his first attempt at making a film. The film is produced by Brian Oxendine. We're all about reviewing independent films, and we love going outside of our own box, so this was a fun opportunity for me to review something totally different.
Biscuit Towne Pictures presents "Neato Mosquito", a film about a large guy named Neato (played by James Mcdonald). Neato is a little slow in his head but he solves a puzzlebox like nothing. Two store clerks are talking about a puzzlebox contest in town when Neato walks in to buy some random crap. While paying, he picks up the puzzlebox (not really knowing what it is) and he solves it. This leaves the two clerks speechless, and one of them decides to put Neato in the contest and be his agent. Neato walks home, and on his way home he meets Willie (Jerry Cunningham), a handicapped black guy in a wheelchair who's trying to fix one of the wheels. Neato and Willie becomes good friends,.. scratch that, they become best friends. When the store clerk who was originally his agent finds a better puzzle solver called "Dynamite Dan", a sleazy fuckface who can solve a puzzle with his feet, Willie becomes Neato's new agent. This brand new master team set out to win the contest, and to do that they start to train hard.
There you have the plot of the film. It's a fantastic plot really, as it's a pleasure to watch Neato and Willie. However, there are many side plots to the film. One being that Neato's sister is trying to join a roller skate-thing (I actually forgot what it was). Then we have another one where Neato's cousin is chased by the cops because he smuggles some illegal shit. This was actually one of the parts of the movie I didn't like very much at all. Neato's cousin was alright, but the fucked up fat and greasy guy he hangs out with is way too disgusting. Always having his belly out, trying to become a sexy beast with the help from Neato's cousin. It's just weird. And the two cops that are involved in the same side plot (but who have their own little side plot too) bugged me alot. The film have lots of side plots so there is alot of things going on, but I never liked the cops and the fat guy too much. Except for that, Rayen Belchere created a very nice atmosphere and cozy suburban where we get to know alot of fun characters. It was a bold move to have so many different stories in the film, but he had good control over them.
The acting in the film is great, especially the acting by James Mcdonald and Jerry Cunningham. They are lovely characters that you can't help but fall for. There are lots of great moments with them, one of my favorites being when they decide they have to train for the contest, but they don't really know how so they just look up the first training place they find in the phone book. So they end up at a wrestling place of some kind. But the best moment in the entire film is when Neato is gonna sing Backstreet Boys on karaoke. Motherfucker does the best dance ever.
Except for Backstreet Boys, there are alot of songs in the film. Rayen Belchere is a musician, so of course he uses alot of his songs. It could be thought of as an egotistical move, but it's also very smart. That way he already has the rights to use them so he saves up on money. And fuck it, the songs fit perfectly, especially the "Rubic's Cube" song (not sure what it's called) that we have in the beginning of the film. I also believe I heard a couple of songs by Piggy D, and friend of Rayen who has been in the band "Wednesday 13" with him. Piggy has also played with Rob Zombie, and he has co-directed a music video for Alice Cooper. I'm a fan of his music so I enjoyed hearing them in there.
The cut I got from Rayen was a rough cut, so the audio and such wasn't what it will be in the final version. The audio was very uneven in this cut, so that was actually one of the biggest flaws of the film, and since this will be fixed, there's only the ones I mentioned above left. Not bad at all for a first time director. Rayen's influences are obviously Kevin Smith ("Clerks" especially) and other quirky comedies like "Napoleon Dynamite", and I think this is a film that could get an equally big cult status as "Napoleon Dynamite". But since I hate that shitfest, "Neato Mosquito" is obviously a couple of million times better. I hope to see that Rayen continues with his new found career and makes plenty of stuff for us to review. Let's just hope his next flick will be something that works better for our site. Final overall words; Fun, light-hearted, well-written and directed and kickass lead characters.