Absolute Zero

Nowhere ManPhotographer Tom Veil is a nervous wreck at a showing of his work in his Chicago studio. He convinces his wife to leave the show early to slip out for dinner, but when he goes to the rest room and returns, she is nowhere to be found. The maitre’d doesn’t remember her being there – or Tom himself, for that matter. Tom takes a cab home and finds that another man has taken his place in his home – and that his wife and even his dog apparently have to memory of him.

Tom takes refuge in his studio for the night, finding that the locks have been changed in just a few hours of his absence, and he also finds that one black and white photograph, titled “Hidden Agenda,” has been stolen, and all evidence of his existence has been erased. He tracks down his wife and she confesses that she has been forced to deny his existence by an unknown agency. But when she’s pulled over – a convenience store owner noticed Tom sneaking into her car and called the police – she tells a police officer that she’s never seen Tom before, and Tom is hauled off to a mental hospital. A Doctor Bellamy asks him for a list of people to contact to verify his identity, and a fellow patient who identifies himself only as Eddie seems to know exactly what is going on, but is afraid to tell Tom the truth – and later is subjected to a lobotomy so his knowledge dies with him. Tom kidnaps Bellamy and escapes to his studio, where he uses his photographic expertise to alter Bellamy’s driver’s license so he can avoid being tracked, if only for a little while.

Bellamy offers a handful of hints as to what is happening, but the conversation is cut short when armed mercenaries – working for whoever is out to erase Tom’s existence – storm the studio, and an explosion sparked by darkroom chemicals destroys the building. However, Tom has the master negatives of “Hidden Agenda,” and he escapes again. He finds that his best friend – whose name he gave to Bellamy – has been murdered, and fearing for his mother’s life (since he also gave Bellamy her address), Tom books a flight with Bellamy’s credit card and leaves for Iowa, but has duplicate prints of “Hidden Agenda” made before leaving Chicago. Tom’s worst fears are realized when he arrives at his mother’s home, finds her on life support, and is told by a live-in nurse that his mother suffered a stroke less than a week ago. The nurse’s boyfriend – who happens to be a policeman – arrives and demands that Tom produce identification. Mrs. Veil’s church pastor shows up, temporarily defusing the situation – but he’s not the man who was behind the pulpit the last time Tom was in town. Tom grabs the police officer’s gun and escapes again, holding the nurse at gunpoint, even though there isn’t necessarily any evidence that she, her boyfriend, or the priest are involved in whatever conspiracy seeks to destroy Tom.

Order the DVDswritten by Lawrence Hertzog
directed by Tobe Hooper
music by Mark Snow

Cast: Bruce Greenwood (Thomas Veil), Megan Gallagher (Alyson Veil), Ted Levine (David “Eddie” Powers), Bernie McInerney (Father Thomas), Michael Tucker (Dr. Bellamy), David Brisbin (Driver), Mary Gregory (Mrs. Veil), John Hillard (Cop), Murray Rubinstein (Larry Levy), Rebecca Hayes (Woman #1), Heather Paige Kent (Woman #2), Alexandra Kenworthy (Woman #3), Marian O’Brien (Nurse), Steve Restivo (Gina), Greg Wrangler (Husband), Jay Arlen Jones (Inmate), Lisa Rafel (Attractive Woman), Robert Kempf (Oscar)

LogBook entry by Earl Green