Jim Hosking said recently that he’s surprised his films are polarising. Has he seen his films? 2016’s ‘The Greasy Strangler’ featured an old, naked, serial killer slathered in lard. Human eyes are cooked and eaten. It’s hardly one to watch with your parents, unless your parents
are members of the Manson Family.
With his relatively less disgusting latest, the British director doubles down on the bizarre, presenting a carnival of pompous and pointless grotesques. Tonally, Hosking again goes for askew and unsettling. There is a plot, just about, concerning an exalted entertainer (Craig Robinson), but it’s all really an excuse for him to throw everybody into a metaphorical mudbath.
Joining the circus to provide intentionally bad acting are Jemaine Clement and Aubrey Plaza, the king and queen of deadpan, as well as Matt Berry (‘Toast of London’), no stranger to absolute absurdity. Such a cast may raise expectations, but they’re very much here to do Hosking’s bidding, which you’re either going to tune in to or be repelled by. Look at it as an art piece rather than a film offering loads of opportunities for emotional involvement. Hosking certainly works hard to create something that isn’t like anything else. Maybe a bit too hard.