Antibirth (2016)

directed by danny perez
traverse media/hideaway pictures

All right, now this is more like it. This flick is completely nuts, sort of a lower-budget X Files set in the rural hinterlands, homemade recreational drug territory. Featuring flashbacks, hallucinations, drugs real and invented, the military, prostitution, mutations, questionable pregnancies, abductions, untrustworthy acquaintances, bad decisions, shady characters and probably some other stuff, the plot takes a loooong time to gain any coherence, and when Meg Tilly’s loonybin character shows up to try to clue in our protagonist, naturally she is disbelieved. The film justifies itself after a fashion, in what is not a sympathetic manner but is definitely a memorable one. Truth be told, Antibirth is kind of a mess and could have helped itself by cleaning up a few discursions or extraneous characters. Overall, however, it manages to be both funny and nauseating, and is generally well-written and acted, usually avoiding cliché despite itself. Its surrealism probably aids it in that regard.

why did i watch this movie?

It sounded different. It also sounded a bit like a kitchen-sink script. (You know, with everything but … )

should you watch this movie?

Really, this is precisely the kind of flick I enjoy championing. Someone had an oddball concept and ran with it, showing some ingenuity in realizing his vision. It’s not great – it may not even be “good,” how would I know – but it’s got passion and a plucky spirit, and is its own creation. Bully, I say.

highlight and low point

The portrayals of the down-and-out female druggie pals are quite amusing and uncomfortably accurate, the conspiratorial overtones are spot-on, and the ending is spectacularly bananas. Some of the seedier, more tasteless stuff pushes too close to the generic at times, as do the hypnagogic scenes.

rating from outer space: C+

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