May 31, 2012
By Matthew Supinski
Backyard in Nowhere
Backyard in Nowhere: A Fly Fishing Western by Peter Christensen and Mathis Jensen. Sellfish Media, DVD $30 (flyfishingwestern.com), 50 minutes.
Alaska is a savage place. It is Darwin's last brutal frontier where man and animal are on equal ground. To live there you have to be rogue and rough. Even when gentle, delicate people move there, it hardens them and they never will be the same. With its vast wilderness, the law means nothing. The days of cowboys in the Wild West are still alive here on a daily basis — guns, liquor, civil violence, natives and people shooting at everything to kill something to eat, or to kill your neighbor !
When a bunch of civilized young Danish men set out to find a pike fly fishing Utopia, they get a little more than what they bargained for. The Innoko River wilderness is a stark, desolate eerie place of mud and swamp tundra. Here you don't have the beauty of the Kenai and Bristol Bay, with gorgeous silver salmon or magnificent colored Iliamna rainbows along with luxury lodges and gourmet cuisine. Instead you have savage leviathan pike — the Scum Lord carnivores of backwaters that attack streamers like barracuda. The fish mimics the hostile environment that the locals must overcome each day to put food on the table, and to survive from going crazy in the long dark winters.
The fly fishing is violent — blood from ripped 2/0 hooks on the hands, leaping pike that knock a person over — there is no "quiet sport" here. It is reality TV at its finest. If you like the History and Discovery channel's Swamp People, River Monsters, Moonshiners etc., you'll love Backyard in Nowhere. Besides the F-bombs, drinking, weed smoking, a skinny dipping Christian baptism for Peter, and guns going off like Dodge City, there is amazing cinematography, natural beauty and music in this movie that has been compared favorably with the cinematography of Quentin Tarantino.If you liked Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and Inglorious Bastards — and you also like fly fishing — you'll likely enjoy this action-packed thriller.
Viewer beware, this movie is not for the squeamish, prudish or fainthearted. There is nothing bad or evil here. The drama and action stands with anything ever filmed in Hollywood. It is a saga of the testament of the wild human and animal spirit to survive and claim their territory in muddy desolate swamps where the King of freshwater savagery — the pike — is master.
— Matthew A. Supinski