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STUDIO: Magnolia Pictures
RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes
- Commentary with Tim & Eric
- Deleted & Extended Scenes
- Shrim Screensaver
- Promo Videos
- Interviews with Tim & Eric
- Good Evening S’wallow Valley Behind the Scenes Featurette
- “And much, much more!”*
Demented latenight-TV aerobic instructors Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim waste a billion dollars on made up words, carne folk extras, and a level of absurdity that’s only matched by the pair’s brilliance.
As our humble hosts are often quick to forget in their gratuitous thanking of others, the film was written, directed, produced and stars Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. Yet, their bizarre appeal has also drawn some of Hollywood’s brightest stars, including Robert Loggia and Chef Goldblum. Billion Dollar Movie also features bit parts by some comedy’s shiniest up-and-comers, like Will Ferrel as satan with spray tan; John C. Reilly as Taquito, a sickly boy who was possibly raised in a mall by a wolf; and Will Forte, resurrecting the lost Saturday Night Live character, maniacal sword enthusiast.
Like any sketch comedy loosely strung together by a ridiculous plot about two Hollywood superstars looking to raise a billion dollars revitalizing a mall, it feels longer than it should. But you still get some hilarious sketch comedy loosely strung together by a ridiculous plot about two Hollywood superstars looking to raise a billion dollars revitalizing a mall.
The lowdown on Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie is that it is exactly what you’d expect from these dead-eyed weirdos and much more. Free from the restrictions of Adult Swim’s stringent censors, Tim & Eric can explore the depths of depravity, including something called a brown bath, which is pretty much exactly what you’d imagine to be (the six child sons of Ray Wise deficating on Wareheim, who lay convulsing in a bath tub), and Shrim, which kind of sounds like “Shrimp.” But amidst the tendency to act like annoying six year olds and out of work public access hosts, Tim & Eric find that sweet spot between absurdity and art, madness and genius, and annoying and funny.
And they don’t waste time straddling that line. Moments into the film Chef Goldblum (Jeff Goldblum) wanders onto the set and explains the proper way to use your new Schlaaang Super Seat, a lazy boy that pumps you full of endorphins and burns you with popcorn butter. Several commercials for the Schlaaang corporation and some user/television calibration later, we enter Tim & Eric’s movie, a three minute long adaptation from Jim Joe Kelly poem “Bonjour, Diamond Jim.” As the film ends, the lights go up, revealing a room of executives condeming the filmmakers for wasting a billion dollars on a three minutes of footage, spiritual gurus, and Johnny Depp impersonators.
Charged with recouping the money, Tim & Eric happen upon a commercial in the bathroom of their favorite club. On it, Damien Weeb offers a billion dollars to anyone brave enough to run the S’Wallow Valley Mall. Left with no other options, the two found a PR Firm and head to the mall to the tune of Aimee Mann’s “Two Horses” in wondrous sequences highlighting the connection between man and beast. Or something.
Billion Dollar Movie follows the classic “let’s give these weirdos a movie” plot by putting these weirdos in charge of something. “Weird” Al Yankovic, appropriately got a TV station, providing him the perfect place to stage “Conan the Barbarian;” The Kids in the Hall inherit a multi-million dollar pharmaceutical; and Tim & Eric overtake a post-apocolyptic mall inhabited by a clearly dying John C. Reilly, some always creepy maligned mannequins, trash can bonfires, women who give birth in filth, and a wolf.
Unlike, the previously explored “let’s give these guys a movie” scenarios, Tim & Eric are obviously less interested in plotting, which seems like a mere formality, a pitstop on the way to their weird set pieces and bizarre rituals. But, in terms of pure Tim & Eric, it’s perfect. They have a stage where they can do their work out routines a la “Doo Dah Doo Doo!”; confusing and cheaply designed commercials of the shop owners, like that of the immortal shrim, which is far too weird not to link you to; and, of course, violent outbursts that usually end far bloodier than one would expect. Their options seemingly limitless, and armed with a militia of cameos, elaborate sets, and terrible effects, the joyous non-sequeteurs of our hosts are a slap in the face of anyone involved in the buiness of logic, reason, and/or film technology.
Yet, while Tim & Eric’s movie is perfect for them, it’s certainly not perfect for everyone. Outsiders, curiously peeking in for a taste of what their six year old will undoubtedly find to be the funniest movie in the whole wide world, will more or less be mortified by what happens in the minds of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. Aside from the absurd shops of the S’Wallow Valley mall, which includes a used toilet paper outlet, the film pushes the boundaries of good taste with upsetting sex scenes, shots of Wareheim being defeicated on–a point that needed a second mention–, and numerous decapitations. Billion Dollar Movie is set in a world where anything can happen, and more often than not, anything does.
But none of this should come as to much of a surprise. True to form, Tim & Eric elongate their jokes to frustrating heights, repeating the same phrase ad nauseum, moving through the motions of funny to not funny to annoying and back to funny. The two force their way through slower sequences in hopes that you’ll either laugh out of frustration or lose your mind. Far whackier than any in recent memory, Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie should be treated as such and commended for it.
It’s no surprise that a movie so bizarre and alienating would have a wealth of extended and deleted scenes, which must have been cut for time, since they are just as funny, if not funnier than those that made it into the movie, particularly one involving Tim teaching his adopted son Jeffrey about the old switcheroo sabotage. Turns out ol’ Tim’s a biz wiz. Anyway, it’s funny.
Deleted scenes are one thing, but these two went all out providing their fans with the proper experience for enjoying their movie. The proverbial Schlaaang Super Seat of DVDs includes several interviews with the cast and stars of Billion Dollar Movie, including one interview in which Tim reveals that Eric called him a “stinker” before the interview. You can’t buy that kind of honesty. We also get to talk briefly to the vagrants that make up Tim & Eric’s world, whom, in that world, generally seem so cold and inhuman that if they pulled off their skin to reveal an Alien head no one would be the least bit surprised, but here seem like normal actors working for two complete lunatics that they consider “very nice and creative.”
Finally, there’s the commentary, which I’m promised will get funnier in the next 15-20 minutes. This is actually played for that highbrow commentary spoof market you’d find on the Crierion Collection release of Bucky Larsen. Tim & Eric relay fun facts about the production and discuss some of the reasons they chose a Johnny Depp impersonator instead of Johnny Depp. In the end, it was kind of funnier.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars
* Poster and Photo Galleries, Trailers