By Don Simpson | February 14, 2012
Directors: Brandon Trost, Jason Trost
Writers: Brandon Trost, Jason Trost
Starring: Jason Trost, Lee Valmassy, Art Hsu, Caker Folley, Nick Principe, Brandon Barrera, James DeBello, Bryan Goddard, Rachel Robinson, Michael Sandow, Sean Whalen, Dash Mihok
Sometimes going into a film with absolutely no knowledge of what it is about can really backfire right in my face. Prime example — and I guess I have been living under a rock for the last year — I had know idea that The FP is an amped-up-to-11 parody/spoof flick. (The FP spoofs a bunch of different genres — dance movies, gangland dramas, sports movies and blaxploitation flicks, to name a few.) But several of my friends love The FP, The FP was featured at several very respectable film festivals, and it was picked up for distribution by Drafthouse Films; so, I pretty much assumed that I would love it… And… Well… I did not love it, but I do not think I hated it either. Mostly, I was just really taken aback by all of the characters speaking in nearly nonsensical slang and referring to each other as NIGGAS (which, as it turns out, is actually an acronym). Essentially, it is what I would refer to as a Wiggersploitation (or maybe Wiggasploitation?) flick — a film about a bunch of white trash gangstas who have co-opted an absurdly exaggerated stereotype of black gang culture. The FP also features a West Side Story-esque twist… The two rival gangs compete for turf (and control of alcohol distribution) by way of a dance video game called Beat Beat Revolution (a blatant reference to Dance Dance Revolution). When it comes down to it, The FP is much more similar to Freak Dance than I ever would have anticipated.
I still do not know what to think of it all. (Would I have enjoyed it more if I was drunk or stoned or tripping? Maybe a potent cocktail of all three? Or maybe I just need to watch it with a theater full of rowdy fans?) I certainly have to give the Trost brothers and their cast a hell of a lot of credit, because they never once lose sight of their goal. They make every line of dialogue as quotable as humanly possible (The FP is pure Alamo Drafthouse “Quote-Along” gold); as if they toiled away on this script for decades, fine-tuning every word until they were 100% satisfied. (Yeah, and some of the 1980s pop culture references are pretty damn clever as well.) But, for my tastes, there is way too much ridiculous absurdity permeating every single orifice of every single frame. Art Hsu puts so much damn energy into his performance, I can only assume that he was on crank for the entire shoot. The same goes for Lee Valmassey’s Mr. T-inspired bad guy who barks every word like a rabid pit bull that just engulfed a bag of cocaine.
(Don’t forget to check out all of the other films we previewed for the SF IndieFest 2012.)