Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Doomsdays: the Slackers Will Inherit the Earth
you really thought the world was ending, what would prevent you first acting
like a first class jerkwad? Sure, you might say humanism, religious faith, good
breeding, or maybe just basic human decency, but none of those apply to Dirty
Fred and Bruho. They will live like parasites and call it activism in screenwriter-director
Eddie Mullins’ defiantly grubby comedy Doomsdays
which opens this Friday in the New York City area.
the two, Dirty Fred is the real self-aware, self-centered, selfish scoundrel.
He loves to drink and hear himself talk. He does not really believe M. King
Hubbert’s Malthusian “Peak Oil” theory, but it gives him a handy excuse for his
aggressively irresponsible behavior. In contrast, Bruho is a sullen and
potentially violent true believer. Their shtick is breaking into empty Catskills
summer homes during the off-season, where they live large for as long as they
can until someone runs them off. Dirty Fred immediately raids the liquor cabinets,
whereas Bruho vents his rage on any unlucky automobiles that might be tucked
away in the garages.
twenty minute police responses times, Bruho and Dirty Fred can usually make a
brazen getaway, even when they are totally caught flat-footed. They are experts
at this sort of rarified squatting, but they will pass on the fruits of their
experience as well as a degree of their lunacy to Jaidon, a misfit teenager
they take under their wings. He is kind of a klutzy kid, but he buys into Peak
Oil wholeheartedly. However, when Reyna, a nonconformist gallery assistant
joins up with the merry band of loons, she starts to destabilize their
equilibrium, because she is a woman (who happens to be relatively rational).
Doomsdays might sound like a
nauseating exercise in hipsterdom, but it is actually quite funny because
Mullins and his cast are keenly aware how annoying and pretentious his main
characters truly are, especially Dirty Fred, whose snide attitude often
boomerangs back on him. Frankly, he is such an unsavory reprobate, he almost
becomes endearing. Beneath the rage and social ineptness Bruho might also be
something of an old soul as well.
as Bruho, Leo Fitzpatrick gives a rather extraordinary performance, maintaining
his abrasive facade, while hinting at inner depths of screwed-up-ness.
Likewise, Justin Rice’s Dirty Fred represents quite a feat of manic stamina and
a refreshing disregard for audience good will. More than just a good sport,
Laura Campbell effectively counter-balances their lunacy with her down-to-earth
but vigorous screen presence.
often looks mumblecorish, but its dialogue is way
too sharp for that indie stylistic ghetto. Mullins has drawn some strong
characters and then run them through a gauntlet of physical comedy, while
cleverly satirizing their Erlichian environmental doom-and-gloom. Recommended
pretty enthusiastically for those who enjoy both high and low humor, Doomsdays opens this Friday (6/5) at the
Cinemart Cinema in Queens and the Pavilion in Brooklyn.
Labels: Apocalyptic cinema