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STUDIO Drafthouse Films/Image Entertainment
RUNNING TIME 83 Minutes
- Audio Commentary with Brandon and Jason Trost
- Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished: The Making of THE FP
- THE FP in The FP: A Return to Frazier Park
- Green Band Theatrical Trailer
- Red Band Theatrical Trailer
- Commentary w/The Trost Bros.
- 16 Page booklet with introductions from Rob Zombie and Neveldine/Taylor
- Reversible Cover Art
- 720p Digital Copy
For years, an underground war has raged for dominance over the small town of Frazier Park, a.k.a. “The FP, ”between two clans: the 248 from the north and the 245 from the south. When the 248’s leader Btro dies in a Beat Beat Revelation match, it is up to his younger brother Jtro to take revenge and save the FP from the clutches of L-Dubba-E.
Jason Trost, Lee Valmassy, Art Hsu, Caitlyn Folley
“Rocky IV meets the apocalypse. With DDR.”
Bad movies are amazing. There is just something about the confluence of self-importance and perfectly awful decision making that allows us to be giddy with their sheer terribleness. We’ve always had bad movies and, as long as pompous douchebags inflict their vision upon a media-hungry populace, we always will. I, for one, am incredibly glad for this, or else we wouldn’t have classics like Manos, Troll 2, or, my personal favorite, Birdemic.
It’s this perverted reverance that has borne a generation of filmmakers that worship at the altar of the B-movie. Films like Hobo with a Shotgun and the recent Pirahna movies are so cognizant of their badness, they rejoice it. They take delight in the atrocities committed to celluloid as they throw logic into the wind and ask the audience to simply enjoy their time. Critics be damned, their reflexive and purposefully campy nature lets us know that they’re above it. They could be making a really quality movie about issues and matters, but NO! This is the story that they are choosing to make.
The FP is not one of these B-movies. The FP is not one of these winkingly deliberate best worst movies. The FP has seemingly time traveled from 1986 and into our time.
The FP is, simply, unlike anything I have ever seen before.
Sure, The FP has the trappings of a best worst movie. Ludicrous premise. Sketchy production values. Awful hair design. But I have never seen a best worst movie that is so deliberate in every one of these decisions and plays it as straight as it does. It has moments of reflexivity, of letting the audience know exactly how silly it all is, but they are so very few and far between, and always at key moments so as to heighten just how tremendously crazy this universe is. The FP knows exactly what it’s doing and gloriously rolls around it much like a pig would in it’s own filth. Except the filth has the production design of The Road Warrior, Escape From New York, and any movie where its future takes place in 1996.
You’ll either decide if you love or hate the movie within the first 30 seconds, as it starts off with a classic scroll that orients us to the environment. Basically, there’s a turf war. It’s not until seven-ish minutes in that we find the weapon of said turf war, which is the Beat Beat Revelation machine, a game that is, oh, I don’t know…exactly like Dance Dance Revolution. And, in this first ten minutes of movie, we are introduced to the crazy world of The FP. With character names like Btro, Jtro, KC/DC, and, to a lesser extent, Stacy, the movie enters an absolutely bonkers elseworld that, if you love bad action movies, you’ve seen a billion times. And, by the end of the ten minutes, when the mentor dies because of the BBR machine, you know the exact tone of this movie.
Again, Btro dances himself to death.
I had to double check just to make sure that there wasn’t some other cause. No, he dances to death. He keels over on the BBR machine and is held by his younger brother as he shuffles loose the mortal coil. Then Jtro screams to the heaven without a hint of irony that he will never play Beat Beat Revelation again.
We then cut to the wilderness, where Jtro is earning an honest living as a lumberjack. But, much like any hero whose had anything done to him, he can’t stay out of the game for long. Fellow associate KCDC calls him back into BBR in order to fight for the FP. All around bad guy L-Dubba-E has taken control of Dawn’s Liquor Mart, creating a dry county our of Frazier Park. Apparently, it’s forced everyone to be straight edge, which, in the FP, means everyone does meth. It’s also gotten rid of the bums, which means that no one can feed the ducks. Yes, readers, this is real logic in the film. This is an example of the purposeful lunacy within The FP, so magnificently absurd that your mouth hangs open in laughter and glee.
We then get some training montages courtesy of new mentor BLT, who grudgingly takes Jtro under his wings upon seeing the young man’s promise. And we see Stacy, the love interest, and complete product of 1980’s type misogyny that works perfectly in this film. And, as the movie builds to the ultimate climax with L-Dubba-E, we get drinkable meth and more dance sequences and violent expulsion of bodily fluids and transvestite fathers and zombies and cage match BBR and…
It would be one thing if The FP was satisfied with just paying homage to post-apocalypse movies or Rocky movies, but it’s not. It legitimately tries. Best of all, it succeeds. The things that I’ve listed above are just a taste of the absolute insanity contained within this movie. The Trost Brothers, the directors of this movie, come from the Neveldine/Taylor school of filmmaking, having worked on Crank 2. The duo’s influence definitely shows in the amount of hyperactivity seething just below the surface. What differs these guys from the Crank duo is the strict adherence to structure and tone, playing it deathly serious. This decision makes the film transcendent, creating a mixture of badass-ity and hysterical brilliance.
A lot of the film’s success in tone lies in the performance of Jason Trost. Trost as Jtro isn’t exactly an award winning performance, but it doesn’t call for it. Jtro has to be grounded in the reality of this world in order to work and Trost’s stilted, straight faced deliveries set the mood perfectly. This hero is cut from the same cloth as The Man With No Name, except he’s a strong silent type whose weapon happens to be some dancing boots. Jtro is imbued with a faux gravitas that contrasts wonderfully with the kinetic, over-the-top energy of the movie, and sets The FP apart from self-aware B-movies like Hobo with a Shotgun. It’s never about how high he can take his performance. That’s what the rest of the cast accomplishes wonderfully. Trost’s missions as leading man is how quiet he can be and still illicit a reaction.
The FP has a few moments where the film drags due to adherence to 80’s action structure and the tiny production budget definitely shines through. But, for what flaws there are, they are readily forgiven, as the film utilizes the rest of its resources to the fullest. The Trosts create a good sense of scope and a great sense of energy on a shoestring budget. Most of all, they know exactly what they’re doing and execute it perfectly. The FP is the ultimate throwback to goofy 80’s action and the absolute perfect love letter to best worst movies. And I’m super duper obsessed with it now.
Starting off, we get an audio commentary with Brandon and Jason Trost, who offer some anecdotes about the filming and the many shenanigans involved with filming. The basic takeaway is that they made the movie with pennies, borrowing setpieces where ever they could and utilizing the cameras from Crank 2 to make their movie. The track itself could be less dry, especially considering how insane the movie is, but it’s interesting to get insight into any facet of the movie.
Following this, we get a three part behind the scenes feature that runs about 30 minutes altogether. In “The Making of the FP,” we get a real feel for the production and confirm that the film is, indeed, basically Rocky. We find out that everything was borrowed or a favor and listen to discussion on the process of getting the film made. It’s a fairly standard making of featurette, unlike “Costume Designing in The FP,” an incredibly thorough featurette on just the costumes. Rounding out the set of three is “Scoring in The FP,” which talks about the soundtrack and the limitations of doing it on a budget. The most fascinating part is finding out composer George Holdcroft did the entire score himself. While not uncommon, one of the central songs of the movie features a female singer, which is why it’s fascinating to listen to Holdcroft delve into the process of his score creation.
“The FP in the FP” chronicles the Rolling Roadshow screening in the actual Frazier Park along with the Trost Bros. taking us to the locations used in the film. You can tell the filmmakers have a real love of the place, as evident by their t-shirts proudly proclaiming “Frazier Fuckin’ Park” and the fact that one of the actors tries to recruit children to see their very R-rated movie.
Finishing off the set are two trailers, a booklet, digital copy, and some gorgeous reversible artwork courtesy of Mondo’s Tyler Stout.
Rating: Out of a Possible 5 Stars
Out of a Possible 5 Stars