Chris Smith’s film about the very driven, fanatical horror film director Mark Borchardt and his best friend Mike Schank is a brilliant cult classic.
As Mark tries to rally the troops (i.e. his family, friends, and willing locals) to get his latest horror movies Northwestern and Coven made, he encounters endless obstacles on the way. Meanwhile Mike recalls wild partying anecdotes with the most infectious Beavis & Butthead-esque laugh.
There is tension in Mark’s family about the strain of supporting Mark’s ambitions – money is tight – and Mike’s deadpan deliveries are tinged with undercurrents of vulnerability to addictive substance abuse.
Mark’s elderly uncle Bill, who lives in a caravan, is talked into funding the horror film, and agrees to play a minor role – which turns out to be harder than they both anticipated.
It’s an incredibly funny film, but also a portrait of how dreams and aspirations are often bound by economic status.