Description (from the IMDb):
Four geeky friends seeking to lose their virginity go on one last summer adventure after they find out about a very gross and curious rumor they must investigate.
Meredith Host as Kris, Desiree Saetia as Jes, Kate Lewis as Catie, Josh Suire as Josh, Alec Lambert as Lance, Andrew Baltes as Clode, Jaime Osbourne as Vanity, Noel Williams as Forest Queen, River Seaver as Troll Boy, Jason McCall as Quazar Helix, Clint Kelly as Butt Cleft Jeff, Chris Seaver as Store Clerk, Casey Bowker as Brodi, Alan Barclay as Dream Freak, Nathan Meyer as Dead Kid
Written and Directed by Chris Seaver
It’s been a long, long, god-awfully long time since I’ve done a review. I was drawn out of the woodwork when I heard Chris Seaver was looking for more reviews of his new film, THE WEIRDSIES, and I happen to want to watch TW, so it was a match made in heaven. If you happen to read my reviews from the last, oh, ten-plus years or so, you probably know that I am a fan of the repugnant wackiness that is Chris Seaver. From Low Budget Pictures, to Warlock Video, to his newest venture Midnight Kids Productions, I have been enjoying his flicks for a very long time. Since 2005 when Scott Phillips played HEATHER AND PUGGLY DROP A DEUCE at a local fest in Albuquerque, I’ve been hooked to the penultimate weirdness that is The Seavage.
The opening of TW is basically a who’s who of Chris’ loves in film, with FRIGHT NIGHT, THEY LIVE, and more being dropped right away. One of the first things that really made an impression with TW is just how far Chris’ movies have come, technically. When you go back and watch the LBP films, it’s your basic backyard camcorder film (at least, on the technical side of things, the dialogue and lunacy have always been above basic backyard) but with the addition of Clint Kelly as cinematographer, Chris’ films have taken a great leap forward, quality-wise. I was also happy that TW didn’t start with the same old music that Chris uses in a lot of his films (it pops up right before the end of TW) to open them, which immediately made me feel like I was watching something different than his usual. That’s something I really want to see from Chris. I love his movies, but I am also really ready to see his filmmaking take a step toward the more, well, mature? By mature I don’t mean X-Rated (he’s almost done that with some of his films), I mean more grown up. Don’t get me wrong, I love (most of) the juvenile humor that Chris’ films are peppered with, but I think that the gross out comedy that is a bit of a trademark for him is also the reason his films are not seen by a wider audience. My favorite of his films is GEEK WAR, and I find that to be the most grown up film he’s done, while still retaining his personal esthetic. I had this feeling as TW started that this might be the grown up film I have been waiting for… then Kris pulls out fingers full of pussy pudding, and that pretty much was out the window.
The film itself is a very familiar tale, as told with the Seavage spin on it. Four geek friends, The Weirdsies, are in their mid-twenties and still have not lost their virginity. One of the friends hears about a dead body that might just have a massive zombie dick. Yep. So STAND BY ME meets NEKROMANTIK. So they decide to go “be heroes to ourselves” by this epic quest of grossness and shenanigans. Of course, the town douche bag, Last Chance Lance, and his cronies, Vanity and Clode, aren’t going to allow these losers do something that might make them cooler (somehow), so they have to go stop The Weirdsies. Bonding ensues, intermixed with craziness, poignancy, then masturbation contests; it’s gonna be like that.
TW shows off Chris’ strongest suits, which are his dialogue and direction. His films feel very improvisational, but I know from my years of being a fan and the multiple interviews I’ve done with him that they are very rigidly scripted. Not only the words being said, but exactly how the lines are delivered. The dialogue in TW is consistently stupid-funny, and the deliveries are for the most point spot on. All four of the leads put in really good performances, and this is one of the strongest films for both Meredith Host and Josh Suire (even though his character is so silly). Alec Lambert’s Lance is a rehash of a character he has played in the last (seems like) 10 or so Seaver films, but in this one he takes a turn for the douchebaggery and plays it well. TW pairs Chris’ direction of his actors with Clint’s superb cinematography and elevates TW above a large swath of The Seavage filmography. I find that Chris’ films are best when he can focus on the actors and let someone else focus on the images, and TW is no exception.
There are many moments in TW where I can see that “mature” film I’m looking for poking through. Some of the funniest gags in this film are the ones that have no disgustingness attached. Simple things like exiting a booth or having an argument with a store clerk are elevated to hilarity without introducing repugnancy. I know I may be in the minority of Seaver’s fans that are looking for this jump, but I’d love to see a movie that is just funny without being gross. I know he can do it, and I truly feel that it will allow Chris to open up his viewership. It’s like Ben Affleck said in JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK, “You gotta do the safe picture, then you do the art picture…” I’d love to see Chris get his name out there with some “safe” pictures, then throw on his “art” picture as a special feature on the Blu-Ray!
Overall, TW is a step up in the canon of LBP/Warlock. It has an actual plot with actual times that you get to know and love the characters, which are not caricatures like many of Seaver’s other movies. The video is gorgeous, and the audio is much higher quality than many older flicks Chris has done. There is a ton of really funny, quotable dialogue. There is way out there silliness (the forest dance scene for one) without having to go to the dark side of grossness, but if you are on the dark side you are going to get your fill of that too. Who in their right mind would green light this story? Chris Seaver. I just hope that he will take his own advice (as you can see the characters bewilderment with the predicament they are in) and look to make a movie that can get him the attention his comedy deserves.
Overall 7.5 / 10
TW on the IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5127646/
TW is not for sale yet