What Is It? (2005)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  27 January 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 749 users  
Reviews: 19 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.


(as Crispin Hellion Glover)


(as Crispin Hellion Glover)
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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 ...


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


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.





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Release Date:

27 January 2005 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Crispin Glover's directorial debut. See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in Brows Held High: What Is It? (2012) See more »


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

If you ever wondered how far someone could go to the left, then this is the movie for you
24 April 2005 | by (Tucson, AZ) – See all my reviews

It takes a very special kind of person to make a movie that is so wretched, beguiling, disgusting and repulsive, but make it in a way that also makes it brilliant and the quintessence of personal cinematic liberation. Crispin Glover, in all of his "out there" antics and predispositions, truly made something that is unique. In a world that has become starkly partisan, this film seems to evade the standard lines of creativity and art and effectively startle everyone.

Right off the bat, the film takes on a rather distant paradigm (if there really is a model at all) and initially shapes it with the likes of Shirley Temple in front of a swastika and naked women pleasuring a man with cerebral palsy. It's rather shocking stuff, but if you had the opportunity for the Q&A sessions after the screenings, it clearly opens up a bag of worms that leaves you wondering whether this is art or just the lowest common denominator. In either guise, you sense the tremor that this film will ultimately cause. It will never be accepted, not even by the supposed auteurs of the world who boringly speak about the human condition. You may not like it, but it is certainly something worth watching.

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