I’ve always really like Jason Trost. His honesty, his attitude, his style. He’s a guy that wears his influences on his sleeve, and, his output thus far, shows a real love for genre. Not in an overly precious way, or anything like that either. When he doled out his opinion on Kung Fury I thought that he might have stolen his observations from inside my own head(GET OUT OF MY HEAD, TROST!). There’s nothing “ironic” about the way he approaches the films he creates. He’s not trying to poke fun, or winking at the audience because “Man, things used to be really dumb. Look how I can be really dumb, too. Isn’t Sharknado great?!”
To some, that may seem disingenuous, considering that his most well known film to date, The FP, is often mischaracterized as a spoof, which kind of misses the point. Yeah, it’s a silly world, where uber-hipster gangs battle it out by playing a Dance, Dance Revolution clone, but nothing about how the film was made could be construed as silly. Even though the ridiculous dial is turned up as far as it can go, and then some, it never feels like it’s not trying to be the best movie it can be. The score, the performances, the cinematography, and the aesthetic design all come together into something that you can’t just write off. Honestly, that’s kind of why it’s as funny as it is. “It’s like the weirdest movie John Carpenter never made,” I just said in my head. If I were a successful writer, I’d totally suggest that stinger for the back of the box, but I’m not, and so marketing materials will forever be lamer because of that.
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about Trost. A few years ago he was trying to raise money for a sequel to All Superheroes Must Die called A World Without Superheroes, and while that project wasn’t able to get off the ground, the guy kept working, kept writing, kept trying to make movies. He has a level of commitment to his art that you just don’t see a lot nowadays. It’s probably the primary reason I feel it’s important to support his work. I have nothing but respect for him, and those that help him produce his vision. As a person who really would like to make small independent movies, he’s kind of an inspiration, and it’s important to me, and those like me, that he keeps working. Well, as long as he keeps making good ones, that is!(I kid! I kid!)
Well, he’s got a new flick coming out this weekend in limited release, How To Save Us. It’s the story of a man that journeys into a quarantined Tasmania to find his lost brother, but everything is not that simple. Apparently, ghosts, or the films equivalent of ghosts, have started to make their way into our corporeal plain, and can lash out and attack the living. The situation is posited as some kind of disease that’s threatening to overtake the world. Kind of like an invasion from beyond the grave. I know that there’s going to be a lot more to it than it’s basic conceit. I have a feeling it’s going to have a lot to do with familial bonds, and strength of will. How far would you go just to know?
The film looks like it’s been beautifully shot, and puts off a foreboding sense of loneliness. Everything is empty, lifeless, and dread hangs in the corner of every frame. The minimalist aesthetic is incredibly striking, and I really hope I get to hear a commentary some day about how this flick was made. I’m sure they had to “steal” a lot of shots, and I’m sure there’s some funny stories that go along with them.
I don’t really know much more about the movie. I’ve been steering clear of any interviews, basically limiting my knowledge of the film to the information given in the trailer, because I really want to be surprised. I’m not saying if I knew more that my experience would be ruined, I’m not really a “spoilerphobe,” and believe that the journey is always more important than the destination, but since it doesn’t have a ton of coverage, I’ve decided to just go into it as fresh as possible.
Like I said before, this movie is in limited release, and that feels like a massive understatement. Originally, more theaters were going to be showing the film, but because another “ghost movie” with similar themes, and more marketing weight behind it, is also coming out this weekend, the film lost a bunch of screens. It’s a real bummer, honestly. I don’t live any where near a theater that’s going to be playing it, so I’m going to have to wait until it hits VOD later this summer. I think it’s tentatively going to be available sometime in August.
Here’s a list of theaters that are going to be screening the movie this weekend. So, if you are nearby any of them, maybe go support an independent, a true independent, that was made thanks to the hard work of a small crew that just really wanted to tell a story. If I’m able to, I’m going to buy a ticket on-line this weekend as my show of support, and I’m not even going to be able to watch it! So, if you’re fortunate enough live near one of these theaters, stop playing The Witcher 3 for a couple hours and go see a movie, you fuckin’ nerd!
For more updates:
Here’s a picture of my “show of support” ticket. This isn’t to pat myself on the back. I just figured I should put my money where my mouth is. Also, it’s proof how easy and cheap it is! Here’s a link, where you can get yours!