Adventures in Cleaning Out The DVR: Seeds of Yesterday (dir by Shawn Ku)


For this past week, I’ve both been dealing with a sprained foot (and it’s doing much better, thank you very much) and I’ve been cleaning out my DVR.  As I woke up this morning, I realized that I only had four more movies left in the DVR that I needed to watch and review.  So, I decided to jump right into things and I finally watch Seeds of Yesterday.

Seeds of Yesterday serves as a sequel to Flowers in the Attic, Petals on the Wind, and If There Be Thorns.  Like those three previous films, Seeds of Yesterday is based on a novel by V.C. Andrews and premiered on the Lifetime network.  Seeds of Yesterday was originally broadcast on April 12th and, considering how much I enjoyed Flowers and Thorns, I’m not sure why I missed Seeds.  Maybe drugs were involved, who knows?

Anyway, Seeds of the Yesterday continues the story of the Dollangangers, the family that simply cannot stop literally and figuratively fucking each other.  As the film opens, 13 years have passed since the end of If There Be Thorns.  Bart (James Maslow) is now a 25 year-old religious fanatic.  Since learning, in Thorns, that his parents were actually brother-and-sister, Bart wants nothing to do with them.  He has even changed his last name to Foxworth, in honor of his evil great-grandfather, Malcolm.  Bart has rebuilt Foxworth Hall and, on the occasion of his birthday, he invites his estranged family to come visit him.

Jory (Anthony Konechy) is now a ballet star and is married to an emotionally fragile dancer named Melodie (Leah Gibson).  The parents, Chris (Jason Lewis) and Cathy (Rachel Carpani), have finally come to peace with the fact that they are also brother and sister.  And then there’s adopted daughter Cindy (Sammi Hanratty), who Bart considers to be sinful even while he lusts after her.  When all of these people arrive at Foxworth Hall, they are excited to learn that Melodie is pregnant.

Well, everyone’s excited except for Bart.  Bart not only lusts after his stepsister but also after his sister-in-law.  Bart does a lot of lusting in general.

For some reason, Bart has demanded that Jory and Melodie perform a dance from Samson and Delilah at his birthday party.  However, since Melodie is pregnant, she can’t dance.  (“You’re not even showing!” Bart snaps, angrily.)  Instead, Cindy says that she’ll be Bart’s dance partner and, on the night of the performance, a huge piece of scenery falls on Bart and severs his spine.  Bart will never dance, walk, or make love again…

So now, Melodie is depressed and can’t bring herself to even visit Jory in the hospital.  She discovers that Jory will never be able to have sex again so, instead, she and Bart start fucking.  Bart, however, is still lusting after Cindy and complaining that everyone around him is a sinner…

And it goes on like that for about 90 minutes and then the movie’s over.

On a strictly personal level, I enjoyed Seeds of Yesterday because it had a lot of sex, a lot of overacting, a lot of gorgeous clothes, some dancing, and a big mansion.  But, for the most part, Seeds of Yesterday is a total mess that never really makes much sense.  I have not read the original novel but just taking a quick look at its Wikipedia page reveals that a lot of plot and quite a few characters were left out of the adaptation.  Obviously, there’s only so much you can put into an 88 minute movie but, in the end, Seeds of Yesterday still fills rushed and overly busy.  All the characters are so busy scheming schemes and having melodramatic confrontations that you never really get any sort of emotional insight into them.  All in all, Seeds of Yesterday is a disappointing end to fairly entertaining series of films.

That said, we should give praise to James Maslow.  From the minute that Bart shows up, it’s obvious that he’s batshit insane and, for lack of a better term, Maslow “goes there.”  His performance is so enjoyably melodramatic (and, just so there’s no understanding, perfectly appropriate for the material that he’s been given to work with) that he elevates the entire film.