Cinepocalypse 2019: Tim Reis And James Sizemore’s ‘Budfoot’ – Short Film Review

“The events and characters portrayed in this motion picture are real. They’re all real. Your imagination is real and it is dangerous as fuck.”

This warning scrolls past during the end credits for Bad Blood: The Movie’s Tim Reis and James Sizemore’s new mind-bending seventeen-minute short, Budfoot, and it distills the preceding film’s frenzy and crazed expressionism beautifully.

Budfoot is an acid-soaked roller coaster full of wacky inventiveness, gonzo visuals, and wild dialogue. Following the creative process of the hedonistic, deranged, edgy toy designer, Jo Carver (played by the mysterious mononym, Skinner, from the Cinema Insomnia with Mr. Lobo TV series) as he designs a new action figure, the marijuana-themed yeti, the titular Budfoot.

The short opens with a POV entry into Carver’s workshop. (I just realized that Skinner is playing a man named Carver… Skinner… Carver… I think we might be on to something, friends!) This acts as a portal into his world and his mind. We find him sleeping at his desk, where we go even deeper into his mind, literally. Through his cluttered ear canal, we explore the CGI wonderscape of jetpacks, weed smoke, and farting Shiva figures. The filmmakers playfully refer to this sequence as the Skinnerspace. Within the first fifteen seconds, you know what kind of treat you’re in for.

The story progresses, and as Hunter S. Thompson ominously says in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas’ opening scene, “The drugs begin to take hold.” There’s a freewheeling recklessness to the Rob Zombie meets Cheech and Chong aesthetic of this film that never quite falls over into “How do you do, fellow kids?” territory. It feels authentically weird and gleefully purposeful. There’s goop, violence, and madness. Skinner’s Jo Carver feels improvised and energetic. Perhaps he’s being too over the top; perhaps he’s being honest in his portrayal of frustrated creative guy’s tendency to constantly be too much. It could go either way.

When we finally meet the sentient action figure version of Budfoot (played by Last Podcast on the Left’s Henry Zebrowski), we’re sold on his sassy, above-it-all persona immediately. There’s something powerfully charming about a moss-covered, skull-faced action figure springing to life and demanding, like Denzel Washington in Training Day, that our protagonist smoke his crazy weed.

In my book, all motion pictures can be broken into one of three categories: films, movies, and flicks. Films are for lofty, pack of tissue experiences like The House That Jack Built or Eyes of My Mother, often slow burn, drifting dreams with Important Things To Say About Life, Love, The Human Condition, and, with genre films, The Limits Of Human Endurance. They can be entertaining, compelling and meaningful parts of a cinematic diet, but they can also feel stilted, pretentious, and unrelenting in the wrong hands.

Movies are the baby bear’s porridge of cinema, and, by default, contain most of the cinematic experience. They’re often inoffensive and slick, with varying degrees of sophistication. Almost every Platinum Dune remake from the early 2000s qualifies as a movie.

Then you have flicks. These are carnival freaks of cinema, packed with ambition, weirdness, shoestring budgets and visceral effects. This is where I put gorgeous, violent, popped pimples of cinema like Hobo With a Shotgun (2011) and most of the Japanese kaiju canon.

Budfoot is an absolute flick and shines all the brighter for it. There’s so much color and personality in every frame that it’s impossible not to grin while watching. There are fart jokes, drug humor, sexual crudity, and conspiracy theorizing…the four Horseman of a good time. When the film reaches its apocalyptic climax, what starts as a goofy What If? becomes a celebration of the human imagination that genuinely surprised and affected me.

Plus, I can’t think of anywhere else where you can see an eight-inch tall, purple and green weed ape say, “We’re gonna get high as a crow’s dick.”

That alone makes Budfoot worth the watch.

About Billie Wood

Billie is a horror obsessed writer with a love of Giallo, Vincent Price, and any horror movie set in the West. She can't wait to tell you about how Videodrome is a sci-fi horror love letter to trans girls like her.

Check Also

‘MIND BODY SPIRIT’ (2024) – Movie Review

Hereditary is a film that almost sent me into a panic attack in a completely …