Cast: Andy Dick, Kevin Walter, Lisa Wilcox
Genre: Experimental, dark comedy, crime
Duration: 2 hr 21 min
‘The Wet Ones’ begins with an episode of a Kate Middleton doll and her Pink Mustang best friend whiling away their time dancing at a disco and watching TV. She then encounters the doll of Emma Bunton (from Spice Girls) in the woods who now goes by the name of Woodsy Bunton. Woodsy is enraged at Kate, calling her a traitor who “turned her back on England” before throwing heavy insults at her and stabbing her in the groin with a knife.
This is the first 10 minutes of ‘The Wet Ones’. Those who watch this experimental dark comedy will by now get an idea of what they are getting into and will either turn off the film or sit with said film, utterly hypnotized at its strangeness. The first 10 minutes are really the litmus test for the audiences’ taste. And boy, does this movie have a strong Marmite taste. Shot with a shaky handheld camera and an ever-present garish fluorescent lighting, the movie will jump from scene to scene and story to story, exploring the crazy, unhinged lives of the many potty-mouthed dolls and toys that inhabit the ‘Wet Ones’ universe. Some of the characters are Katy Perry (portrayed by a weirdly shaped figurine with a poorly drawn face), Titanic Sinclair (which is based on the real life musician who was exposed as a narcissistic abuser), Meow cat, Gold Meg, the Bunny King, Joan of Arc and so on. The pop culture references are not quite sprinkled on this movie as they are showered with a waterhose.
It’s a crazy movie with murder and mayhem, heavy insults, and scenes of dolls puking and handling feces. The whole thing feels like a nightmare that you can’t wake up from as childhood idols such as Barbie, Katy Perry and Princess Diana haunt you with their ‘dark sides’ unleashed. All of this can feel repulsing. But somehow, it isn’t. The movie is extremely entertaining to watch and this is thanks to the director Wigwolf who voices most of these sick characters. The range he shows in voicing women, men, children, animals and robots are varied and impressive to the point that it makes the film highly watchable and occasionally, laugh-out-loud hilarious. Look out for the scenes where a character has a heavy Canadian accent and bemoans how he is lonely because nobody in the US can understand him when he talks. Or the scene with the Danish, Australian and British characters. The doll of Titanic Sinclair is marvellously watchable as he goes about his night of delinquency even as he is terrifying.
One can tell that the actors are enjoying themselves, quite like a child who enjoys himself playing Dollhouse with the many toys and props. And when pure enjoyment and passion takes hold of the creator, no amount of amateurish filmmaking can prevent the final product from being entertaining.
Some of the voicing (done by a range of actors) can be difficult to comprehend and that is the biggest challenge to accessing this film. Plus, the movie lasts for over two hours which can be a no-go for most viewers who are used to Insta reels and 25-minute long Netflix episodes.
The elusive Texas-based filmmaker going by the name of Wigwolf is a bold and unapologetic artist who wears camp and pop culture on his sleeves, refusing to take anything too seriously. In a time when filmmakers stick to the rules and shy away from pushing cinematic boundaries due to the commercial risks involved, watching a movie like ‘The Wet Ones’ can be liberating. It can remind us of what is missing from mainstream media. The revelation will not be comfortable, nor visually or sensorialy pleasing at all times. It might even induce confusion, if not terror. But under the layers upon layers of childlike play and pastiche, what we might get to witness is insanity in a decaying society, and loads of entertainment.
‘The Wet Ones’ is available for digital rental or purchase with Vimeo on Demand and Gumroad from September 17.
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