LOVE AND TERROR ON THE HOWLING PLAINS OF NOWHERE: Out Now On VOD And iTunes

Contributing Writer; Toronto, Canada (@triflic)
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LOVE AND TERROR ON THE HOWLING PLAINS OF NOWHERE: Out Now On VOD And iTunes
Disappointed in the muddled fizzle-out of the Serial podcast few weeks ago and looking for another taste of unfathomable True Crime mystery to hold you over until Season 2 of True Detective

Enter Love and Terror On The Howling Plains of Nowhere, a wonderfully strange documentary on Chadron, Nebraska. The events of 2006 are undoubtedly the biggest crime this small town will ever witness: An introverted math professor goes missing but is later found bound to a tree with extension cords and burned to a crisp. 

The eccentric collection of characters that make up the community, along with members of law enforcement and the employees of the local newspaper, all talk to author Poe Ballantine. After a life of drifting around America, Ballantine had chosen to settle down and make a life in Chadron because it was quiet and anonymous, only to have this baffling event inspire his own biography.

Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere is morbid, hilarious and whip-smart film-making that belies its strained budget and open-ended narrative. It will never look as good as The Imposter or offer the closure of The Thin Blue Line, but its humour is mighty. 

Between the talking head segments (all great), and various home-video of some of the regions apocalyptic weather, Janetta peppers the proceedings with film clips from Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole to Woody Allen's Manhattan (and a telling interview of Orson Welles by Dick Cavett) to try to understand a narrative without closure; certainly any film adaptation Cormac McCarthy would slot nicely in there if it were present.

Love and Terror On The Howling Plains of Nowhere exudes a bit of a Twin Peaks-y vibe, but also finds a way to make its sense of humour on such a shocking and terrible event only be a cause of empathy for the professor, and outrage at the lack of progress with the powers that be. The film is available today on iTunes in Canada and the U.S.
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documentarynebraskatrue crime Poe Ballantine

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