TIM AND ERIC’$ BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE
Profoundly weird and unnerving is what Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim do best. They have a distinct talent for presentation of the creepy and awkward: as a media experience, their Adult Swim sketch comedy Awesome Show is comparable to discovering the /b/ board on 4Chan: your mouth will open alternately with disgust and horror, while your skin crawls off your body from the force of sheer psychic discomfort. And yet, you still laugh.
The projected audience for BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE was already likely to be composed of fans of Awesome Show, but Tim & Eric risked polarizing this group by making a conscious decision to mock Hollywood culture and tropes from blockbuster films instead of sticking to sketch activity. A plot (of sorts) unfolds: they have already failed to make a BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE, and now owe the Schlaang Corporation for the three minutes of diamond-studded footage they did produce. With the head of Schlaang (Robert Loggia, macabre and enraged) in pursuit, they head to the Midwest to raise a billion dollars by revitalizing a dying shopping mall at the invitation of Damien Weebs (Will Ferrell, wearing a modified version of the Evil Hair from Zoolander).
…unholy amounts of bodily fluids, uncomfortable interactions between adults and children, and of course, musical interludes.
BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE both is and is not an extension of the trademark Tim & Eric experience. The ingredients for a movie-length installment of Awesome Show are all present: anti-humor, a self-possessed lunacy, appearances by show regulars, unholy amounts of bodily fluids, uncomfortable interactions between adults and children, and of course, musical interludes. Discomforting tension is everywhere, but stretches thin between more inspired sequences –or is that just the inevitable effect of the transition from sketch show to full feature? The flavor is the same. The much-discussed Shrim sequence in the alternative healing center at the mall features as a microcosm for the entire viewing experience: one could argue that all cults submerge their members in feces. On the other hand, Awesome Show itself has been called a cult-like experience, so just how self-referential are we supposed to find this? Undeniably cracked and twisted, BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE is a Möbius strip of a film, where humorless and hilarious somehow occupy the same troubling territory.
TIM AND ERIC’$ BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE now screening in select theaters, including Grand Illusion Cinema in Seattle, March 15, 17, 23, 24, and 30.
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