Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

So after watching the stoner comedy ‘Smiley Face’ it dawned on me that I like stoner comedies.  I don’t know why considering I’ve never in my life been stoned or high before.  I’ve been drunk plenty of times.  Hell, I’m drunk right now.  I don’t think I’ve seen a Ryan Reynolds movie sober which might explain why I think he’s so darned funny.  So from Canada we don’t necessarily have a stoner comedy but a heroin addicted comedy.  I don’t believe that heroin addicts get ‘stoned’ as there is some other term that I’m sure describes their highness.  A wacky slice of life heist fable about heroin addicts, Satan worshippers, midgets, loan sharks and a dude with an icicle in his skull.  It sounds weird, which is probably why they called this flick ‘Weirdsville’.

Royce (Wes Bentley) is the ‘idea guy’ and Dexter (Scott Speedman) is the ‘quiet introspective one’.  That’s what the movie told me, not my personal opinion.  Both of them happen to be heroin addicts and seem to be in hock to local drug dealer Omar (Raoul Bhaneja) who has a penchant for cutting off the thumbs or breaking the legs of people who owe him money.  Though the pair have no viable means of paying the man back, Royce has the idea they might as well start working for the man selling his drugs since their other good buddy Matilda (Taryn Manning), the veritable hooker with the heart of gold, has an in.  She’s also a smack head by the way.  Giving heroin to heroin addicts to sell.  Sounds like a plan.  The only reason they agreed to this is because they needed to buy some time for the real plan which is to rob local Dot.Com millionaire Jason Taylor (Matt Frewer) who Matilda knows, since she has serviced the man occasion, keeps his millions in a local safe at his house, and he’s in the hospital trying to recover from an icicle to the brain.  Cool.

Yeah, about that heroin that Omar gave them.  It looks like Royce and Matilda tried to do it all in one night, Dexter was cool because he had locked himself away trying to get clean but it appears that Matilda has OD’d.  The ‘Idea Guy’ draws up a plan to bury Matilda at a deserted drive in, but they get interrupted by a trio of yuppie devil worshippers, led by Abel (the ubiquitous Greg Byrk) who has just blood sacrificed some dude to Beelzebub.  Oh yeah, Matilda ain’t dead no more.  Convinced that Matilda was brought back to life by the power of Satan, the yuppie devil worshippers set about the task of finding her so they can sacrifice her.  Now ‘Weirdsville’ is in full wacky mode as the chase is on to find the safe, remember the combination to the safe, run from the yuppie devil worshippers, deal with medieval midgets, avoid the thumb removing mobsters and do it all while strung out on heroin.  This should be quite the challenge.

Hold on a second while I put on my ‘what does it mean’ cap.  Our film starts with a rat that skirts along the edge of a toilet, falls in and drowns.  Later on a strung out Royce flushes the dead rat.  Further on in the film in a sewer, Dexter runs across the dead rat.  What is director Alan Moyle trying to tell us?  Hell if I know, but it wouldn’t be in there if it didn’t represent something now would it?  I would advise all filmmakers to put some riddle like symbolic crap in any movie they make – even if it has no meaning - because invariably there will be somebody somewhere who will claim to ‘get it’ and call you a moron for not getting it.  ‘Die Hard 2: Die Harder’ would have been much better if John McClaine had stepped over a dead bird frozen in the snow, ice covered wings fluttering in the wind.  Symbolic imagery my friends, you can’t go wrong with it.  Symbolic imagery aside I actually enjoyed ‘Weirdsville’ quite a bit, though it may take its quirkiness a bit over the top.  The story in ‘Weirdsville’ was complete and total nonsense, but then this would have to be by design since the principles in our movie are heroin addicts who generally aren’t filled with a whole lot of reason, and it does propel our heroes from one ridiculous situation to another, often filled with numerous funny moments.  Most surprisingly was the performance turned in by Wes Bentley, he of the permanently concerned brow, who turns in an inspired comic star turn as Royce.  The physical comedy and pratfalls were funny, his timing was spot on, plus he made the lunatic somewhat endearing.  This is the same dude that played arguably the lamest villain of all time in the ‘Ghostrider’ movie.  Who knew his true calling was stoner flicks.  Scott Speedman’s performance wasn’t nearly as inspired as Bentley, be he was saddled with the thankless task of being the ‘straightman’ to Wes Bentley, a task he handled quite well.  Greg Byrk, who I think I’ve seen in about 45 movies this past month, was also very funny as the deadpan yuppie Devil worshipper.

‘Weirdsville’ is the kind of movie you will probably either like or dislike depending on what your frame of mind is around the time you decide to watch it.  If you’re irritable, this is the kind of film that will exacerbate that irritability and only make you more pissed off.  If you’re feeling easy and breezy, then despite the subject matter of self-destructive heroin addiction, you’ll probably have a good time with it.  Yeah, the rat falling into the toilet could represent the pit of drug addiction, the harder you struggle the deeper you go until you’re eventually flushed away and forgotten, but damn, that’s like Symbolic Imagery 101, so it’s gotta mean something more than that.

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