I have let it be known world wide that I am lover of absurd movies. I walk around, quoting The Room while wearing my Sharknado baseball hat. Not even kidding. I am one of the three people who thought Birdemic was so bad it was brilliant. But what happens when a movie builds itself around that very ideal? What happens when a movie conscientiously wants to be so bad it is good? Isn’t that trying too hard? Shouldn’t that not work? Yes, in most cases, trying to become a cult movie blows up horribly in the faces of those who try to do it. Thing is, with The FP, it works. It is just SO absurd (yet so spot on in its absurdity) that you can’t help but actually enjoy this insane film. Insane is actually putting it lightly. Let’s have some fun this week, kids.
When the bad guy in your movie looks like this, you are doing something right.
If you are looking for something somewhat serious, this is not the movie to watch. Go watch Borgman for that (which I will be talking about at a later date). The FP is B-movie, eighties nostalgia, and it delights in just that. It doesn’t want to be the next Inception. It doesn’t want to be the next Gravity. It wants to be a movie that pokes fun at other movies, and it wants to focus around the video game Dance Dance Revolution. Well, I should say “Beat Beat Revelation”, for lawsuit reasons. Even simple things like that just prove they know what they are doing here, and are obviously having a lot of fun doing it. You know what? As much as I think trailers ruin films, you REALLY need to see what you are getting yourself into with this one.
So absurd, so insane, so over-the-top, it ends up being awesome.
So as much as I may not have said it yet, yes. The FP is about rival gangs vying for control of an area of their city, and doing this via dance offs in Beat Beat Revelation. Unlike most of the movies I mention to you guys (which bounce between nihilistic and downright depressing to unsettling and disturbing), it was about time I mentioned a movie that is actually (GASP) fun. That is what worked at the heart of this movie for me. This movie, right out of the gate, is having fun. It knows what it is and embraces that. There is something to be said about the filmmakers who make movies for themselves and without the need or desire for accolades from the industry. The FP is, at its heart, a perfect film for what it sets out to do. It sets out to be so asinine that you forget about your life for a little while, and guess what? It works (at least it did for me).
Okay, so let me talk a little more about the storyline. Well, truthfully, don’t go into this thing expecting layers. This is for one of those mindless nights when you want to maybe have a drink and a smoke and lose yourself in something silly and utterly mindless. The catch about The FP is that it is mindless in the best ways possible.
How can you not laugh at a film having the balls to be like this?
So The FP is set in a “dystopian” future where rival gangs (the 245 and the 248) are battling for control of Frazier Park (thus the FP of the name). As you will notice from area codes and hyphens, this movie and its humor and slang are sort of loosely based on hip hop ideals (while shamelessly wearing colors and styles from the 80s). They all have nicknames and “diss” each other, but it all blends itself beautifully with the surreality of the film. I don’t mean David Lynch surreal. I mean “did I mistakenly eat LSD at one point today?” surreal. There is a distinct difference. There is also a real adoration for 80’s movies here, which bleeds into every scene. To have grown up in that time (and lived through some of those awful movies) will only give you more of an appreciation for this film. Also, did I mention that people can die if they lose? Yes. This can happen in the FP, so you KNOW there will be a “I SHALL AVENGE THEE” subplot going on that I will not ruin here. Needless to say, fun stuff.
Yes, there is even a love story thrown in because, well, why the f*ck not?
I want t give a shout-out to the film’s star, writer, and director, Jason Trost (who worked closely on the film with his brother, Brandon, who has quite a cinematography background). Dude has an eye patch in real life, so that should pretty much sum up how badass he is. But what he ultimately did here, and many try and fail at this exact act, was write a love letter to bad films and how enjoyable they can be. Hammy acting matched with a cheesy yet awesome synth soundtrack, then mashed up further with divinely lame and cliche’ dialog, and hilariously borrowed plot devices? He weaves it all together, and somehow pulls it off. Films that try to do all that often suck, but not The FP. It knew what it wanted to be, and succeeded at being just that. I know there are people who would watch five minutes of this film and shut it off, unaware that it knew what it was doing. Sadly, those people are missing out on a mindless but fun ride that makes you forget about the crappy things in life for almost 90 minutes, and makes you wish you could Beat Beat Revelation all your problems away. To me, that is the very definition of a good film. They don’t have to change the world. They simply need to be enjoyable. I think most people (myself included) sometimes forget that. Thankfully, The FP reminded me.