Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Its Funny. I come to one of the biggest festivals to see some of the best and most "critically acclaimed" films from all over the world, yet so far Bobcat Goldthwait seems to have blown almost everyone out of the water with his latest film; 'God Bless America': a killing spree/road movie dark comedy co-starring Joel Murray and newcomer Tara Lynn Barr. Even though the humor in 'God Bless America' is quite fucked up (the film features a dream sequence where Murray shoots a baby with a shotgun), it may also be the sweetest and most heartfelt killing spree movie I've ever seen (if that's even possible).
In 'God Bless America', Murray (who i haven't seen in anything since 'Scrooged') plays a middle-aged loser that gets fired from his job on false accusations of sexual harassment then gets the news that he has a brain tumor all in the same day. In addition to that he's divorced, gets no respect from his daughter or his noisy neighbors and no matter how hard he tries, he cant seem to ignore all the news and reality television he hates so much. Finally he kinda snaps and sets out to kill a reality television "star" (a bratty teenager from one of those MTV-esque "sweet sixteen" shows). Along the way he picks up a partner in crime in the form of a young teenage girl with her own problems who convinces Murray to continue his killing spree. So together they travel all across America killing everyone from people who wont shut the fuck up in the movie theater to shitty parents.
I know I JUST saw this movie but I feel confident in saying that this is one of the best movies of its kind (better than 'Natrual Born Killers', 'Basai Moi' or 'The Living End'). The film may be over the top and crazy, but the message that Goldthwait tries to convey (through Joel Murray's character) is pretty socially conscious and something that we can all relate too.
The 2 lead performances are great. I've never seen Tara Lynne Barr in anything, but her performance destroys recent stuff like the young female lead in 'True Grit' or Chloe Moretz in just about anything she's ever done.
'God Bless America' follows along the same path as stuff like 'Heathers' or 'Louie' (the TV Show). Its difficult to compare this to Goldthwait's other work because i haven't seen 'Shakes The Clown' since i was a kid and I've never seen 'Wolrds Greatest Dad' or 'Sleeping Dogs Lie'. 'God Bless America' even references a scene directly out of 'Taxi Driver', lines from 'Jackie Brown' and shares MANY similarities with 'Super' (a partnership between a middle-aged man and a teenage girl, the over the top violence and the dark humor). These days almost any comedy that features a dead baby joke is labeled "edgy" or "dark". But Bobcat Goldthwait has the balls to show a scene of a baby being splattered all over its mothers face.
I really hope this doesn't turn in to one of those independent films that gets a quick run at the sunshine or angelika and then goes straight to DVD (although I'm worried that's whats gonna happen). Obviously this wont be shown in any big theaters, but if you're lucky enough to see this when it comes out, don't pass up the opportunity.


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