The Magnificent Obsession of Michael Reeves review: The late Michael Reeves is the topic of the latest film from documentary filmmaker Dima Ballin.
Michael Reeves is not necessarily a filmmaker whose name you are familiar with. His work though, Witchfinder General and The Sorcerers you’ll likely have heard of, even if you haven’t seen them. Reeves directed both, which are seen by many as cult classics, before his untimely death at the age of just twenty-five. Documentary The Magnificent Obsession of Michael Reeves delves into his short life.
Comprised of the standard talking heads and archival footage, The Magnificent Obsession of Michael Reeves recounts his early life before moving onto focusing on his most celebrated works. The documentary reveals that Reeves had an obsession with film, pretty much from the day he was born. As soon as he was of age, he would consume films by the bucket load and was drawn to films with a horror slant. Given his passion, it’s no surprise that as soon as he was able to, he was making films. This personal glimpse into his early life offers the audience something to connect with, making him feel almost like a friend.
As nice as this is, it’s when the topic shifts to Reeves’ career as a director that things get going. The bulk of the film is focused on his film projects, and in many ways, The Magnificent Obsession of Michael Reeves is the ultimate making-of documentary. It goes into great depth and explains both projects from idea to final product through interviews with people that knew and worked with Reeves.
For fans of either film, there is a treasure trove of information. Those less familiar with those films won’t have quite the same reaction, though Reeves had a life that is intriguing enough to capture the attention of those uninitiated with his work. I myself must admit that I didn’t know that much about the man prior to viewing this documentary, and it has ignited within me an interest to track down his works and give them a watch. A well-researched documentary, The Magnificent Obsession of Michael Reeves is an informative and interesting film that celebrates the life of a remarkable man.
The Magnificent Obsession of Michael Reeves was reviewed at Arrow Video Frightfest 2019.