An irreverent mockumentary about a pathetic group of frozen- dinner fanatics, Sean Anders's directorial debut is low on budget but rich in wicked humor. Tempers flare as the collectors prepare for their first annual convention. Each one is an outcast: Shawn (Anders, who also co-wrote the movie) fronts a Christian rock band and keeps 14 freezers in his one-bedroom apartment; Shelly (Frasier) is a mousy virgin who helms the Intercourse Prevention Hot Line and has a crush on Shawn; Al (Zwolle) works as a clown-cum-hairstylist and pines for Shelly; and Scott (Isham) is a deprogrammed homosexual who pilfers singed property when on the job as a firefighter.
Although at times the flick substitutes quirkiness for comedy, it's peppered with hilarious details, such as an anti-abortion caf that places tiny plastic fetuses atop its stirrers, or an entre labeled Gene Simmons's Beef Tongue. And while Never Been Thawed may not have the slickness of a Christopher Guest film, it is buoyed by solid performances that are mercifully low on the nudge-nudge-wink-wink factor. It also has a moral: Obsessing over frozen food is the least of these characters' issues—it's a symptom of a bigger problem, a lonely void that they're all desperately trying to fill. For us geeks who keep our action figures MIB (mint in box), this film is both funny and a little frightening.—Raven Snook