Coming of Age Teen Sex Comedy or Sci-Fi Horror Film?  It’s Your Guess…April 18, 2011

Coming of Age Teen Sex Comedy or Sci-Fi Horror Film?  It’s Your Guess…

Sundance Selects

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: KABOOM (Sundance Selects).


A Tuscan backdrop to a puzzle, a mystery, a moment in time…
By Cynthia Kane
KABOOM is a film that’s so absurd, so over the top; the storyline defies all imagination, plus Director Gregg Araki has cast nothing but gorgeous youngsters and a couple gorgeous not-so-young folk, too. KABOOM exists entirely for the moment, in the moment.

Greg Araki
It’s the Kuchar Brothers mixed with John Waters mixed with early Gregg Araki…which means, it’s not for everyone, but it’s thoroughly entertaining. Just don’t think or look too hard for meaning. In the end, you’ll get it if you let yourself go for the ride.
The story: a college freshman, Smith (Thomas Dekker), who is sexually “undecided” arrives at a UCLA–like university with his best high school buddy, Stella (Haley Bennett) who just happens to be a lesbian. His roommate, Thor (Chris Zylka) is a hunky surfer-dude, dumb as a doorpost, who lusts for waves and girls. Their resident advisor is a druggy, older student called The Messiah (James Duvall). Or so it all seems…
Hijinks begin when Smith escorts Stella to a party so she can hook up with Lorelei (Roxane Mesquida), who turns out to be a witch – and not meaning a nasty, bitchy female – she’s the real deal from the Dark Side who will eventually exhaust Stella with her obsession and lust. But here I segue. Let’s get back to the main thread.
So walking home across campus, just a tad stoned, Smith comes across a strange red-haired girl covered in blood (Nicole LaLiberte) who claims to have been beaten and left for dead by a group of animal-masked men.   The next morning, he wakes confused as to whether he’s been witness to a horrific, violent encounter or was it a nightmare brought on by too many drugs at the party?
Here Smith enters on a journey to discover what’s what, whether he’s in the midst of some crazy hallucinogenic fantasy or a honest-to-god global conspiracy on the level of THE DA VINCI CODE. He meets London (Juno Temple), another wily freshman who’s looking for excellent orgasms and who’s from guess-where; Smith decides to explore heterosexuality while together with Stella they investigate all the weird-goings-on.
Are you still with me? 
Good, because there are more twisted twists to come. Yet if you stay with it, this wild and wacky tale comes together in the end… and definitely not in the way you would think.
As self-absorbed, narcissistic as it sounds, KABOOM is a lot of fun. It’s a slick, expertly realized B-Movie-style horror film à la 60’s yet with the hip flavor of contemporary life. Araki blurs all lines as he celebrates youth, impulse and life itself. And where there’s lightness, there’s always the dark hovering nearby. Nothing is taboo for Araki. It’s over the top, teen fantasy gone feral. 



- Cynthia Kane

Cynthia Kane reviews documentaries for On Demand Weekly. She is a writer and Sr Programming Manager for [ ITVS], overseeing the International Initiative for funding in their SF office. Prior she’s had many incarnations from actor to writer to producer. She co-created DOCday on Sundance Channel.


KABOOM (Sundance Selects) is now available on Cable Movies On Demand.

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