Men will be boys in filmmaker Evan Glodell’s debut — giggly, overgrown adolescents who shoot propane tanks, build flamethrowers from scratch and obsess over ‘The Road Warrior’. The dream of the film’s two male BFFs — clownish fuckup Aiden (Tyler Dawson) and withdrawn Woodrow (Glodell) — is to roam the Armageddon-scarred wasteland in a tricked-out muscle car. Until civilization ends, however, they’ll tool around modern-day Los Angeles, a postapocalyptic cityscape in its own right. Into this testosteronised bubble enters Millie (Jessie Wiseman), a beer-swilling blond; after a meet-cute involving cricket-eating and road-tripping, she and Woodrow become an item. Fast-forward several months: The romance goes rancid. Woodrow suffers a broken heart and, concurrently, a head trauma. Then things start to get weird.
Given Bellflower’s bruised full-frontal dude-ity (no film has nailed the aggressive guyness of gearhead culture better), it’d be easy to view this indie as some missive delivered from the He-Man Women Haters Club. But once the film goes into revenge mode, you can sense the writer-director-star chipping away at the male necessity for macho posturing. And although the film’s climax eventually devolves from fever-dream chaos to cop-out, its coda — in which Warrior’s Lord Humungus is declared the masculine ideal — drives home the notion that boyhood dreamworlds are adult dead ends. In one grease-monkey swoop, Glodell proves that he’s a subversive talent worth following. Let a thousand of his future projects bloom.