Cinema Sinner: Reflections of Evil

To enjoy this film with your date:
Clothing: B.U.M. Equipment
Food: Liquor chocolates found in the garbage can
Music: “Promises” by The Carpenters

Everyone left for Thanksgiving, spending astronomical amounts of money to go home for three days. This befuddles my mind because the longer December break is a mere three weeks away. Do the airlines need your money that much? A lot of other people could use the money you so frivolously have thrown away.

Do you think the homeless had a happy Thanksgiving? I’ve seen how you all callously look at them. You think you’re better than they, don’t you? What if, one day, they rose up and stomped a mudhole in you? Damon Packard’s experimental film, “Reflections of Evil,” deals with that question.

The hero of the film is a homeless man named Bob who is pushed around, laughed at and beaten up by police officers. Eventually, he can take no more and goes on a verbal rampage in downtown Los Angeles.

But this is not fake. The film contains documentary footage that Packard took of real homeless people who also happen to be mentally ill. The footage reveals a new sport: bum fighting. Whether these scenes are real or reenacted is beside the point; scenes of homeless people fighting each other is a metaphor for the seething rage of the disenfranchised, who will soon take over America.

The star-studded cast features Tony Curtis, Steven Spielberg and Goldie Hawn, but whether they intended to star in the film is another matter altogether. Spielberg films, George Lucas films and the intelligence-insulting “Lord of the Rings” films are brutally dissed in Packard’s film, and we must give him mad props for that. It also stars some real LAPD officers and their profanity-laden verbal assaults.

Packard’s film contains the perfect ingredients to make it an ideal stocking stuffer for the holidays: bum fighting, footage of gang members in L.A., innocent bystanders running away from homeless Bob and cinematic techniques that induce seizures. Give it to any annoying person you know who actually likes Spielberg or “Lord of the Rings” – it will diss them good!

“Reflections of Evil” is available at

The writer, Ranjan Chhibber, holds a Ph.D. in film studies and is a recipient of the Bender Teaching Award.

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