DOOMSDAYS (2013) - directed by Eddie Mullins

Eddie Mullins’ DOOMSDAYS may be the first pre-apocalyptic absurd comedy in the history of film. Owing a debt to the deadpan humor of early Jim Jarmusch and the slightly bent characterization of Wes Anderson, director Mullins manages to combine the best of both worlds and create an original and charming one of his own.

The premise is pretty simple in that Dirty Fred and Bruho are a couple of squatters who travel from home to home breaking and entering as they see fit. They don’t have any moral hangups on what they’re doing as according to Bruho, the world is about to come to an end on account of our diminishing oil supplies. Along the way, the guys meet Jayden (a dead ringer for Jonah Hill) and Reyna (a dead ringer for Olivia Wilde) who join their party forming emotional and in the case of the latter, sexual bonds among the leads. The film doesn’t have a “plot” per se and functions more on an episodic level with random events happening to the party over the course of a month. The days are broken up as individual chapters in the film.

I have to say that going into the film, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. There was a part of me fearing that this would be the annual “catering to the hipster crowd” entry that Fantasia seems to program year after year in an attempt to appeal to audiences beyond the genre crowd. Fortunately, it was not as I enjoyed every single frame of this film. The best kinds of films are the ones populated by characters you wish you could spend a day with. In the case of DOOMSDAYS, I’d be willing to give it all up and walk the earth with these guys as they’re funny, witty, intelligent and very resourceful. The films strikes me as being very improvisational in nature yet the screenplay is structured so well that it avoids the self-indulgent trappings of the Judd Apatow/Seth Rogen variety. As a fan of the long take, I was especially pleased with the cinematography and how director Mullins had the confidence in his material and actors to simply set the camera on a tripod with a wide-angle lens and let the natural progression of events build up any humor/tension/drama/whatever the scene called for as opposed to artificially creating them via a series of contrived editing techniques.

DOOMSDAYS is currently my pick for best of fest and for that matter, best of 2013.

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