20 September 2015

UNCLE KENT 2 (/Slash Filmfestival 2015) + UNCLE KENT


Opening Credits Title:
Uncle Kent 2!

USA, 2015
Director: Joe Swanberg (first 12 minutes),
Todd Rohal (remaining 61 minutes)


I'm not a complete expert on the work of Todd Rohal, but I think his 2011 movie "The Catechism Cataclysm" is one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen, and I'm also part of the minority who liked his segment for "ABCs of Death 2". So, now, Rohal, a filmmaker that I like, a filmmaker who, er, prefers the absurd side of filmmaking which makes him about as 'controversial' as the grandmaster of absurdity Quentin Dupieux (whom I really, really hate), shot a sequel to a movie that, like mentioned on the poster, "no-one has seen".

The basic meta-premise of "Uncle Kent 2" is as brilliant as it is downright bonkers and ridiculous: the movie follows Kent Osborne, the main actor of "Uncle Kent" (see below), who desperately wants to make a sequel to Joe Swanberg's film. Whilst travelling to a comic book convention, Swing Out Sister's "Breakout" and the oncoming singularity both make him realize that an "Uncle Kent" follow-up is no longer an option because the world's end is nigh. Oh btw, the first 12 minutes were directed by Swanberg, the remaining 61 minutes were directed by Rohal...

What sounds like the most outrageous movie anyone has ever shot, is actually a massive letdown, at least to me. It may have to do with the fact that "The Catechism Cataclysm" already blew my mind harder than a mental prostitute, but... I dunno. "Uncle Kent 2" just wasn't funny. I was constantly waiting for something to make me laugh my ass off, but aside from a few scenes that made me chuckle, including a marvellously amusing performance by Steve Little, a wonderfully shocking and brutal freak bike accident, and a super-bizarre finale that manages to combine male masturbation, 'Weird Al' Yankovic and "The Exorcist", I was more or less bored and unimpressed with Rohal's stream of ridiculousness.

There's some neat animations, dizzying effects and a few Lynchian moments, but they add nothing to the movie at all. Most of the supposed-to-be-fun dialogue aren't amusing at all, several jokes and fun scenes completely misfire, and even though the acting is pretty fine, I was quickly fed up by most characters, especially the ones that are so over-the-top, it's just not funny anymore.

The movie's funniest scene surprisingly takes place during the first 12 minutes, a simple yet extremely funny scene that involves a cyclist, two carrier bags and two six-packs of beer. It's the only thing that made me laugh out loud... actually, the only thing in both "Uncle Kent" movies that made me laugh out loud...

Thanks to Saskia Pramstaller (Die Halbstarken) for the festival-screener!


USA, 2011
Director: Joe Swanberg


I like Joe Swanberg as an actor who usually pops up in productions by Adam Wingard ("A Horrible Way to Die", "You're Next", "V/H/S") or Ti West ("Cabin Fever 2", "The Sacrament"), but, apart from his very own and super-lame "The Sick Thing..." segment in "V/H/S", I haven't seen any of his 18(!) feature films he made between 2003 and 2015 - until now.

"Uncle Kent" is a way-too-weird and extremely unsatisfactory mumblecore-dramedy that follows the titular Kent, a kid's show cartoonist whose only interests seem to be his cat (yay!) and his bong (nay). One day, he meets a girl on ChatRoulette who decides to spend an entire weekend with him, even though her heart belongs to another man. Kent tries to have sex with her, though apart from talking about masturbation fantasies and kissing in front of a masturbating guy on ChatRoulette, not much is happening.

This is a tedious, frustrating, unnerving and ugly movie by a director who makes movies about people who don't give a fuck, and he makes these movies for people who don't give a fuck, and he makes these movies in a "not giving a fuck"-kinda style that would even shock your average found-footage amateur-director. Uninteresting characters stumble from one uninteresting situation to the next, talking about supposed-to-be-hilarious-but-ultimately-completely-uninteresting topics, all filmed in a lousy-looking and unimaginative style via flipcam.

A couple of scenes look promising, scenes that feel like a fascinating sneak-peek into the world of shallow, lonely people living in a shallow, lonely world - but then you realize that you've already seen it in Rick Alverson's "The Comedy" and suddenly, all the fascination is gone. "Uncle Kent" is as boring and lackluster
as its poster.


  1. Reading about those 'few Lynchian moments' would usually make me watch, but after your overall review, I'm not likely to go out of my way to hunt either of these down.

  2. What weird movies get made these days.


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