Dir-scr: Greg Araki. US. 2010. 86mins
Gregg Araki’s marvelously mad movie has ‘cult classic’ written all over and with its delirious mix of teen sex (gay, lesbian and straight), drugs and loopy conspiracies it is a real audience pleaser and likely to strike a chord with buyers aware of its breakout potential and sheer sexy coolness.
Kaboom is one for the cooler kids (and discerning film critics), and likely to receive similar berths as a series of film festivals.
The film is a tasty blend of the culty naivety of his earlier films (such as Doom Generation and Totally F**cked Up) and the increasing filmic maturity he displayed with the impressive Mysterious Skin. Combined with a good-looking young cast and an amusing script it wins with its sheer outlandish enthusiasm.
Appropriately showing in the out of competition midnight screening slot, Kaboom is one for the cooler kids (and discerning film critics), and likely to receive similar berths as a series of film festivals.
College student Smith (Dekker) lusts for his sexy-but-dim surfer roommate Thor (Zylka), but spends more time with his lesbian best pal Stella (Bennett) and having sex with the free-spirited London (Juno Temple, charming but with an odd mid-Atlantic accent).
After tripping on some hallucinogenic cookies at a party he finds his dreams merging with real life, and is convinced he witnesses the murder of a red-haired girl by men wearing animal masks.
His investigations lead him to sex with both men and women; find out the truth about the father he thought had died in a car crash and then getting involved with a global conspiracy involving a cult called New Order as the world threatens to explode with a ‘kaboom’!
Thomas Dekker is suitably handsome as Smith, who is never quite sure of his sexuality, but quite happy to swing both ways, though best of all is the impressive and cool Haley Bennett as his waspish best pal Stella, an actress surely destined for great things.
The film is beautifully shot in widescreen, using a glossy colour palate with all of the young stars looking darn good (handy as they are frequently naked) and stylishly costumed.
There are a whole lot of Twin Peaks influences in the loopy conspiracy story (involving mind control and psychic powers), but Araki never takes it too seriously…he is more busy having fun with his impressive cast and shooting them in various states of undress.
Production companies: Why Not US Productions, Desperate Pictures, Wild Bunch, Super Crispy
International sales: Wild Bunch, www.wildbunch.biz
Producers: Andrea Sperling, Gregg Araki
Executive producers: Sebastien K Lemercier, Pascal Caucheteux, Jonathan Schwartz
Co-producer: Pavlina Hatoupis
Cinematography Todd Fjelsted
Music: Ulrich Schnauss, Mark Peters, Vivek Maddala, Robin Guthrie
Main cast: Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett, Chris Zylka, Juno Temple, Roxane Mesquida, Nicole LaLiberte, Kelly Lynch