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Upon first glance at Hallucinations, you can tell exactly what cinematic stains the Polonia Brothers have gotten down on their knees to sop up. They’ve found lots of overflow from the troughs of HG Lewis and George Romero. And there’s more than enough Frank Henenlotter stickiness to make a DNA swab of their cultural influences particularly hazardous. Blood, barf and **** have saturated this creative sponge of theirs. Squeeze too hard at your own peril.

For many, the result is a movie that might seem full of little more than the diminished echoes of other films you have already seen. Freddy Krueger makes an appearance (as long as it still counts as being him when he’s wearing a track suit and a floppy fisherman’s cap). And a giant Cronenbergian phallus crawls into the shower just in time to block our view of the tighty-whitey brief junk John Polonia keeps threatening to show us. There is also a general overall slasher ethos that runs through the film, even though they hardly have enough crew or cast members on hand to rack up much of a body count.

If anything is clear from the murk of these bedroom recordings, it is that the Polonia Brothers have spent a lot of time with these kinds of movies. Presumably locked themselves in a cellar with them. Had their meals slid underneath the door. Stayed down long enough to grow out their teen-boy moustaches and become men under the tutelage of all the other basement dwellers out there. The ones who somehow managed to get their **** together long enough to make a movie of their own. In other words, time well spent.

And so, to reduce Hallucinations to little more than a rudimentary copycat of better films would be to overlook what it really is at its heart. It is a shared language between two outcast brothers. And for us in the audience, it is a shorthand with which they can express their movie love to those willing to sit and watch their devotional home videos. As a result, Hallucinations acts as a secret handshake. A knowing wink that understands the life you too have lived under the staircase, in the shadows, beneath floorboards, or whatever nook or cranny you had to scurry off to in order to get your next horror fix. It is horror removed from the burdens or cultural critique or cinematic expressionism. Horror as pure escapism.

What will ultimately add a layer of poignancy to the meagre escapist aims of Hallucinations though, is that rarely does a film co-exist in the same world in which its creators are hoping to imagine themselves out of. While the violent outbursts it peddles may always exist in the foreground of the frame, it will be the details which clutter the background which ground the film back in the real place from which the two young filmmakers dream. They are details which have been left undisguised for us to discover inside the home the Polonia Brothers clearly still share with their never-seen parents, and which they are now using as the sole location of their movie shoot.

Much in the same way that their images of horror seem all too familiar, what we can glean from their home life will be equally recognizable to all who have grown up in a similar suburban kind of squalor. There is the awful, sun blotting drapes. The clots of un-ironed blankets stuffed between couch cushions. The perilous balancing of Chef Boyardee overflow in the kitchen trashcan. Floor mattresses. The browny-orange glow of a lifetime lived in low wattage lamp light. It is a creatively paralyzing kind of dishevelment. The kind of purgatory that seemingly awaits the two brothers at the end of every school day, offering them little more than yet another television weekend.

But as much as this may be the kind of place where little more than half-awake infomercial watching ever happens, and how it still all seems so depressingly familiar, and remains such a reminder of all my own lost time, the film remains a joyous experience to watch. There is a pent-up liberation in watching the Polonia Brothers bloody-up their parents' bathroom and cat shred their basement in defiance of the existence you would otherwise imagine here. In watching them detonate a possible lifetime of couch naps by testing the boundaries of exactly how much movie wizardry they could foreseeably emulate (and dare get away with) inside of their parents' home, there is an inherent urgency in their filmmaking. A need to just get it all on tape. You can almost sense the threat of Monday fast approaching as the movie nears its conclusion.

And maybe that’s what we are really supposed to fear. This villain of squandered potential. Of lost time. This is much worse than anything the imagination of these brothers might will into existence with their mix of cheap effects and the help of their parents wardrobe. In fact, these monsters of their creation are exactly how they are fighting it. To make sure they have something to show for the weekend before they are back in class, being bored, doodling sword crushed skulls in the margins of their notebooks. Biding their time before the next weekend production and being bitter they can't get to it immediately. After all, what else could possibly be more dangerous than all this time away from the movies, whether it be watching, aspiring towards or actually really making one.

In short, if you haven't done it already: **** school, destroy your parents home, ignore the rules. Grow a moustache and become a Polonia Brother. Anything to save yourself from the drudgery of not daring to do stuff. Because that's when the real monsters come to get you. And I should know. I'm still here waiting for them to take me away, half asleep on the couch, and trying to remember all of those wasted words of encouragement Richard Simmons once used to slip into my dreams.