Since Hollywood appears to be suffering from an infectious and soul-ripping epidemic of unoriginality, the ideal place to look for a vibrant antidote is as far away from conventional manufacturing as possible. Sometimes Sundance-indie doesn't cut it and the real pockets of unhindered creativity are found in a rogue, untamable, and bottomless fountain -the internet.
5-Seconds Films, or 5sf for the YouTube connoisseur, is a group of filmmakers, writers, and actors that have amassed an insanely loyal following by making just that: bite size content no longer than five seconds. Their material is extremely raunchy and gory, but effectively hilarious. Each miniature story manages to deliver a satisfying punch line by outrageously mocking any and every aspect of life. Nothing is sacred or too much for these guys.
Ballsy creators like 5sf are products of the no-policy policy of online platforms. It's freedom on steroids and they are taking advantage of it. No censors or ratings or much content supervision that would prevent them from showing violence and depravity to their liking. And that's fantastic. Their first feature film, which they consider to be a seamless progression, is a horror spoof that will have you laughing hysterically while simultaneously asking yourself what the f**k is going on but not really caring for answer. "Dude Bro Party Massacre III
," directed by Tomm Jacobsen
, Michael Rousselet
, and Jon Salmon
, announces itself as a murderous trip into brilliant absurdity by the hand of a group of beer-loving, sex-obsessed, hypermasculine, immature frat boys - and it delivers on its promise.
Its opening frames explain that the film we are about to watch was recorded on a VHS by a teenager staying up late and it’s the only existing copy in existence of the terrifying third installment of this bloody franchise. Clearly the other parts don’t actually exist, but for the sake of the farcical urban legend the filmmakers use the first few minutes to recap what happened in the first two massacres to give some ridiculously intricate context. Note that entire film is designed to look like an actual beat up and scratched VHS tape, a stylistic choice that’s perfectly appropriate for a project of its kind.
According to the brief summary of the past, non-existence, chapters in this bro-driven saga, the source of evil is a deranged female killer known as Motherface (Olivia Taylor Dudley
), whose mission is to make the bros from the Delta Bi frat, attending school in Chico, California, suffer in revenge for their selfish, insensitive, and unpunished antics. She has murdered tons of douchebags and she is coming for more. While the original incarnation of Motherface was successfully killed before, another woman always picks up where she left off wearing the ominous, cheesy, and wrinkly mask. During the last rampage, Brock (Alec Owen
), one of the most popular guys in the bropack, was one of the victims. Now his identical twin brother, Brent Chrino (also played by Owen), has come to find out who is behind his death and avenge him.
That's, of course, the most reasonable description of the origin story one can provide. As the plot unfolds and the increasingly jaw-dropping situations stack up, coherence becomes diluted. However, there is always just enough narrative glue binding it all together for it to actually feel like a story with a structure. Every element on screen pays off eventually often presenting unforeseeable outcomes - all of them viciously funny.
Brent tries to blend in with his newly found peers, some of which often confuse him with his more outgoing and machismo-fueled sibling. The array of stereotypical young males populate the house include Turbeaux (Paul Prado
), an angry and homophobic dude with a dark secret, Derek (Greg Sestero
), the most relaxed and almost-sane member of this drunken clan, Sizzler (Jimmy Wong
), the frat’s pledge who is brutally hazed, Samzy (Ben Gigli
), Brock's neurotic best friend, or Todd (Joey Scoma
), a virgin who prefers to spend time with his bros that with his girlfriend Samantha (Kelsey Gunn
) – a self proclaimed female-dude or dudette.
Bonding is crucial for this collection of sociopaths, and a trip to a cabin in the woods is an ideal setting for some testosterone-friendly stupidity - as well as their well-deserved deaths. On their way there they come across people who have been victims of their reckless actions, such as a man who lost his entire family in a disaster caused by the dude bros. But their reign of infuriating obliviousness will come an end when their trip becomes a bloodbath. Motherface isn’t happy and retribution is what she is after.
As bats**t crazy and irreverent as it all sounds, there is sharp social commentary here, though it’s buried under some of the most outrageous twists ever to be pulled off by any film of any kind. Nonsensical, yes, but through the baffling actions of these obnoxious bros, the filmmakers cleverly criticize the extent of white male privilege. Bro culture is often associated with blatant entitlement and reveling on the lack on consequences certain destructive behaviors enjoy. Spring break, sports events, house parties, college itself, and any other bro-habitat out there, has to suffer from their intoxicated disregard for others that only gets addressed with a slap on the wrist. But not in “Dude Bro Party Massacre 3,” their own clichéd ways of having fun will become their demise. Impunity doesn't have a place here, only grotesque ways to die. Granted, the film is evidently generalizing and it's extreme, but this is a spoof on the vein of “Wet Hot American Summer
,” so anything goes.
And since anything is fair game, cameos are prominent and they are equally as unexpected as most of the plot points in this marvelously messy treat of a film. Patton Oswalt
appears as the mastermind behind the dude bros annihilation, and he is excellent. Throw in Larry King
and Andrew W.K.
and you’ve got the perfect complements to go alongside the rest of the up-and-coming cast. Olivia Taylor Dudley
, Prado, and Owen do a fantastic job at playing their parts with assertiveness in spite of the insane concept they are a part of. In a smaller, but noteworthy part, Brian Firenzi
as Officer Sminkle gives a performance that is, no say the least, hard to forget.
From an industry point of view "Dude Bro" is a prime example of the miracles of crowdfunding and fan-supported content for fan-consumption. Their end credits are mostly constructed of an interminable list of Kickstarter supporters that became invested in the 5-Secong Films via their daily YouTube videos. It’s a built-in audience that become financiers in the projects they want to see on screen –any screen- regardless of how far removed from traditional production models these are. To go from a cell phone screen to a major festival’s program is not the norm, but when the content is this fresh, that transition feels earned.
“Dude Bro Party Massacre III
” thrives on its imperfections and unthinkable gags that demonstrate, if briefly, that not everything has been done already. Its form and its ideas come together in a disgusting, profane, vulgar, and psychotic concoction that will become, without a doubt, an instant cult classic. Midnight screenings have a new twisted masterpiece for the enjoyment of all those who hate conventional trash and love to throw s**t at the screen.
The film will be releasing on VOD via iTunes and the film’s website (www.dudebropartymassacre3.com) on July 7th