Movies Galore takes a look at Director Mark Borchardt’s short film “Coven” from 1997!

Written by David Strege

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Directed by Mark Borchardt filmmaker and actor from Milwaukee, whom is most well known for the documentary American Movie in 2004 through his own company called Northwestern Productions in 1997. Mark Borchardt has also acted in such films as “The One” – 2001, “The Devil’s Muse” – 2007, “Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever” and “Modus Operandi” from 2009, “The Amateur Monster Movie” and “The Hagstone Demon” from 2011 among others… including most recently Melonie Gartner’s “Two Rivers” Short film as well as its sequel Where The Great Spirits Live which I’m sure the film community can’t wait to see…

Coven is about a writer named Mike (Borchardt) a man struggling inside his own dreamworld where he’s running from what we don’t know…

The film begins as Mike is having a vivid dream. He wakes up and talks to his speed pills as if they have a relationship… and in a sense they do… Ultimately he goes with a freind to check out a self help group when they really are members of a satanist cult….

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For one thing at the time of its release Mark I feel got a hell of a lot of bad press from social media and for a film that became somewhere between have good and almost now reached a cult status here in Milwaukee I feel that this film is underrated in its experimental look at a detrimental look at a man only seeking guidance…

We have tough issues to deal with every day and I think Mark touched on a spiritual level a belief that everything is not what it seems and sometimes there is no help when you truly need it.  This is the message I feel he portrays in one of his three directed films.  It’s a shame that he only acts in movies and doesn’t direct morefor I feel he had or has a talent for subversive Experimental film making and will forever be connected with American Movie even though he absolutely hates talking about the film and wants nothing to do with it as it sorta puts Mr. Borchardt in a bad light which I will talk more about American Movie when I do my review of it.

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Coven isn’t a fantastic film, but it’s certainly entered into my mind as an artistically creative film that showed some underlying  undertones of talent as I’ve said that possibly could have given both to more but society booed and shook its massively biased head at this film and makes me angry that film makers can in fact be ridiculed by critics that seem to think they are the voice of the world you have to let film makers grow and cultivate whatever creativeneness they have not nip it in the bud.

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I certainly enjoyed finally watching Coven from start to finish I hope that you all will give Coven a chance of you come across a copy… enjoy!

Starring Mark Borchardt as Mike, Tom Schimmels as Steve, Miriam Frost as Sharon, Tommy Dallace as Doc McCoy, Robert Richard Jorge as Goodman, Sherrie Beaupre as Daesa, Jack Bennett as Group Member, Mark Nadolski as Group Member, Scott Berendt as Group Member, Barbara Zanger as Group Member, Donna McMaster as Group Member, Mike Schank as Group Member, Cindy Snyder as Group Member, Nancy Williams as Group Member, Wayne Buboise as Group Member, Kurt Poth as Elevator Doctor, Robert Smith as Doctor, Kelley Cork as
Patient, Betsy Schaefer as Nurse, Brian Smith as Nurse, Damien McLaughlin as
Speed Dealer, Ray Kilzer as Liquor Store Proprietor, Mike Badem as Bartender, Geoff Fieldbinder as Bar Patron, John Wilhelm as Bar Patron, Jeremy Stevermer as Tall Guy in black robe, Brian Stodola as
Big guy in black robe, Bill Borchardt as
Old Man in Dream (uncredited).

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