Katie Cassidy delivers a striking lead performance as Suki, a mental patient undergoing “Siamese Burn” therapy to rid herself of all her multiple personalities, save the one representing the real her. One such personality is “The Scribbler,” who compulsively scribbles text backwards. She’s like a less funny cast-off from Mystery Men. Other patients who share living quarters at the same bombed out institution have been jumping out of windows at an alarming rate. Suki is suspected of having some connection to the rash of suicides.
As for those recognizable actors, Eliza Dushku and Michael Imperioli pop up from time to time as investigators attempting to determine Suki’s involvement, if any. Billy Campbell is Suki’s psychiatrist and Kunal Nayyar (Raj from The Big Bang Theory) is his assistant. Gina Gershon, Michelle Trachtenberg, and Sasha Grey turn up in supporting roles of varying screen time, all of them living in the same mental ward as Suki. What attracted any of these actors to what are, without exception, anemically underwritten roles is anyone’s guess. Maybe they all liked Shaffer’s original graphic novel.
Director John Suits does what he can to establish a brooding, punkish atmosphere but the obviously limited budget makes that a fool’s prospect. The entire movie, which hardly ventures out of the dilapidated mental institution that serves as its primary set, looks like a ’90-era music video. Not that it would really matter if the storytelling were more sure-handed. It’s hard to tell what Suits, Shaffer, and company were really going for in The Scribbler.
The Scribber is currently available on Blu-ray and DVD from XLrator Media.