Escapism, that’s the name of the game. When movie magic can temporally nullify an aggressive hangover it’s important to stick to the safe and soothing. Go searching for an undiscovered classic or a refreshing change and you run the risk of unearthing forces which can lower you to a whole new level of sickness. These are some of those films.
Wake In Fright
Have another drink, mate! A movie showing the ugly underbelly of the Australian outback and the extreme-macho-competitive forces which rule it. Through the overbearing hospitality of the small town which he finds himself stuck in, English overseas teacher John Grant is taken on a local tour of debauchery and binge drinking, spiraling deeper into vices of excess, dependency and violence brought on by peer pressure and one-upmanship. The sweat, the heat, the ferity and the drinking – those with already sensitive stomachs will have their condition worsened two fold from watching this.
In its original incarnation as a public access TV show in King County, Washington, back in 2001, Jerkbeast featured a giant paper mache demon taking abusive calls off of viewers and retorting with the foulest, loudest insults possible. When the show’s creators decided to make a movie of Jerkbeast, it produced the kind of low budget indie fever dream you would expect. The plot chronicles the rise and fall of the Jerkbeast and his co-presenters’ insane punk band, whose name goes through changes such as Blood Butt, Anus Pussy, finally to settle on Steaming Wolf Penis. With band members consisting of a serial rabbit killer, a necrophiliac and a giant foul-mouthed monster, and with thrash-punk songs like ‘Looks Like Chocolate Tastes Like Shit’, Jerkbeast won’t be soothing any headaches for you (although it is bloody funny).
The third feature film from schlock archivers and psychedelic found-footage mashup artists Everything Is Terrible, Doggiewoggies! Poochiewoochies! is a recreation of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain made entirely out of clips from hundreds of dog related films. A surreal take on an already surreal movie, on paper it sounds almost impenetrable. But the most commendable quality of EIT’s editing skills is that they are able turn the unwatchable into the watchable. Not only do they repurpose clips to take on hilarious new meanings, but they identify and pick out running tropes from the cosmos of film and splice them together into extended sequences that are so bizarre and funny for their endurance and apparent abundance of source material (see below for an example that highlights the use of dog puns). Insane in both concept and in execution, it may prove too much for those feeling fragile. Straighten out a little before you take this trip.
Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie
To those already initiated into the uncomfortably surreal comedy world of Tim and Eric, this may be the safest choice on the list. To those discovering the duo for the first time, it may be the worst place to start from. After gaining much praise and a loyal following from their various work with Adult Swim, Tim and Eric’s first feature film continues many of the nightmarish parodies of the middle-America public-access/ shopping-channel zeitgeist that they honed on The Awesome Show, heightened even further in fitting with the over the top “million dollar” movie budget. As appose to the skittish and erratic nature of Awesome Show, the jokes in the film pivot around a narrative that sees the two take management of a failing shopping mall in order to make back the money they owe to a murderous film producer for squandering his investment. Tim and Eric is purposefully disturbing and niche at the best of times, and one scene demonstrating the healing powers of something called “Shrim” is enough to tip any unsuspecting viewers with the shakes over into a spewing spree.
Enter The Void
A film which in places simulates a psychedelic drug trip and in others shows the viewpoint of a ghostly spirit floating through time, space and others’ consciousness. Loosely enacting some of the ideas in the Tibetan book of the dead, the entire film is from the vantage point of a boy living in the neon drenched drug district of Tokyo who, after being shot by police, is taken on an outer-body experience through his bereft sister’s present and their shared troubled past. If you are still feeling the effects of the night before then the opening credits alone might be enough to give you a brain aneurysm. If not, the point at which a gigantic CGI penis is thrust into the camera lens might do instead.
Vol. 2 coming soon. Suggestions welcome!