AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL 2011
By Don Simpson | October 25, 2011
Directors: Matt Besser, Neil Mahoney
Writer: Matt Besser
Starring: Megan Heyn, Michael Daniel Cassady, Drew Droege, Allan McLeod, Tim Meadows, Amy Poehler, Sam Riegel
No, no, no, Cocolonia (Megan Heyn) is not a porn star — as her name might suggest (at least for those of you with filthy minds) — she is a rich white girl who likes hip hop music and loves to dance. Cocolonia’s mother (Amy Poehler) believes — along with almost everyone in this affluent suburban town — that dancing is evil, so Cocolonia runs away from home to join a working class dance troupe led by Funky Bunch (Michael Daniel Cassady) and his magnificent bulge.
Plot details get a wee bit murky — probably because the plot becomes all but irrelevant — but Funky Bunch’s crew has a long-standing beef with Dazzle’s (Drew Droege) dastardly down and dirty crew; and I mean dirty as in dirty dancing, sexual dancing, private dancing, dancing for money…well, you catch my drift. Funky Bunch and his big bad bunch are real dancers, not dirty dancers; though even that becomes somewhat convoluted when it is revealed that they possess the secret rules of the “Freak Dance” (essentially the Kama Sutra of sexually provocative dancing).
Taking cues from Flashdance, Footloose, Dirty Dancing, West Side Story, the Step Up franchise, as well as Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s oeuvre, Freak Dance is quite a spectacle to behold. Amping absurdity up to at least 11, co-directors Matt Besser and Neil Mahoney have created Freak Dance with the sole purpose of blowing…your mind; and an early dance sequence inside a hospital does just that. Unfortunately Besser and Mahoney blow their proverbial load so early, and the rest of the film is unable to live up to that one amazingly choreographed scene. That said — the ex-stoner in me would have loved every second of Freak Dance; so I am not denying that this film has its time or place.