If Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind was about tapping into our collective memories through no-budget movie re-creations, then performance artist Zachary Oberzan’s under-$100, one-man adaptation of First Blood is a fearlessly sincere experiment that raises its middle finger to Gondry et al.’s self-impressed quirk. Note that Flooding with Love for the Kid is not actually a remake of the first Stallone-as-Rambo actioner, though both films were ripped from the pages of David Morrell’s novel about a gone-berserk Green Beret—Oberzan’s being the more psychologically and brutally faithful.
Staged within the confines of his 220-square-foot Manhattan apartment—the film was originally part of Oberzan’s one-man show, Rambo Solo—this lo-fi reimagining finds the actor-director playing every character in the well-known story of a psychologically scarred Vietnam veteran pushed to the edge. While the premise might seem like a superficial YouTube stunt, the storytelling is crafty, compelling (falling from a cliff while being chased by a helicopter?!?) and heartfelt enough to explode all sense of cheeky irony. Oberzan means every word—even while he’s performing a rectal cavity search on himself—and it’ll take more than shoddy effects and a blurry autofocus to stop his DIY warfare from drafting followers.