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What Is It? (2005)

 -  Drama  -  27 January 2005 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 697 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 18 critic

What Is It? is a bewildering, unnerving, surreal, blackly comic film from the visionary mind of Crispin Glover that tells the inner and outer struggles of a young man facing villains and demons on multiple planes.

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(as Crispin Hellion Glover)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Blevis ...
The young man (as Michael Bleviss)
Carlos Richardson ...
Lisa Fusco ...
Steven C. Stewart ...
...
John Insinna ...
The Young Man's Outer Sanctum Friend / Inner Sanctum's Choked Victim
Kelly Swiderski ...
Inner Sanctum Concubine / Outer Sanctum Snail Collector
Robin Adams ...
Inner Sanctum Concubine / Outer Sanctum Girl Who Recognizes Burning
Adam Parfrey ...
Rikky Wittman ...
The minstrel's nemesis (as Rickey Wittman)
Lynn Conley ...
The Minstrel's Concubine / Mocking Tormentor / Ultimate Outer Sanctum Victor
Cheryl Brown ...
Outer Sanctum Mocking Tormentor / Walkie-Talkie Grabbing Woman That Cries Later
Tom Carroll ...
Grave Digger / Mocking Tormentor
Eric Yates ...
Inner Sanctum Puppet Show Audience Member / Outer Sanctum Victim / Inner Sanctum Victim
Mary P. Hayes ...
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Storyline

What Is It? is a bewildering, unnerving, surreal, blackly comic film from the visionary mind of Crispin Glover that tells the inner and outer struggles of a young man facing villains and demons on multiple planes.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Being the adventures of a young man whose principle interests are snails, salt, a pipe, and how to get home. As tormented by an hubristic, racist inner psyche.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

27 January 2005 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Crispin Glover's directorial debut. See more »

Quotes

The young man: The king of eye works for me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film has not advocated the assassination of Steven Spielberg in any way. See more »

Connections

References Back to the Future (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Some Niggers Never Die (They Just Smell That Way)
by Johnny Rebel
Keyboard music for end credits by Anton LaVey
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Sumptuous Decadent Beautiful Ugliness
11 December 2002 | by (LA CA) – See all my reviews

Hilarious, evocative, confusing, brilliant film. Reminds me of Bunuel's L'Age D'Or or Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain-- lots of strange characters mucking about and looking for..... what is it? I laughed almost the whole way through, all the while keeping a peripheral eye on the bewildered and occasionally horrified reactions of the audience that surrounded me in the theatre. Entertaining through and through, from the beginning to the guts and poisoned entrails all the way to the end, if it was an end. I only wish i could remember every detail. It haunts me sometimes.

Honestly, though, i have only the most positive recollections of this film. As it doesn't seem to be available to take home and watch, i suppose i'll have to wait a few more years until Crispin Glover comes my way again with his Big Slide Show (and subsequent "What is it?" screening)... I saw this film in Atlanta almost directly after being involved in a rather devastating car crash, so i was slightly dazed at the time, which was perhaps a very good state of mind to watch the prophetic talking arthropods and the retards in the superhero costumes and godlike Glover in his appropriate burly-Q setting, scantily clad girlies rising out of the floor like a magnificent DADAist wet dream.

Is it a statement on Life As We Know It? Of course everyone EXPECTS art to be just that. I rather think that the truth is more evident in the absences and in the negative space. What you don't tell us is what we must deduce, but is far more valid than the lies that other people feed us day in and day out. Rather one "WHAT IS IT?" than 5000 movies like "Titanic" or "Sleepless in Seattle" (shudder, gag, groan).

Thank you, Mr. Glover (additionally a fun man to watch on screen or at his Big Slide Show-- smart, funny, quirky, and outrageously hot). Make more films, write more books, keep the nightmare alive.


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