TIM AND ERIC”S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE
Directed by: Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim
Written by: Heidecker, Wareheim, Jonathan Krisel, Doug Lussenhop, Jon Mugar
Starring: Heidecker, Wareheim, Robert Loggia, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Zach Galifianakis
Running time: 93 minutes
At: Kendall Square
Rated: R (nearly every bodily and sexual function and dismemberment possible)
by Ethan Gilsdorf
If you enjoy the off-kilter, sketch-based humor of “Kentucky Fried Movie,’’ Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life,’’ and anything that cranks up the Farrelly brothers’ raunch factor to 11, then “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie’’ should please you.
Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, co-creators of the TV series “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!,’’ wrote and directed this celebration of bad taste. The movie has Heidecker and Wareheim playing Hollywood newbie filmmaker morons, who have squandered a billion of the Schlaaang Corporation’s dollars on a rom-com dud. Tommy Schlaaang Jr. (played by cantankerous Robert Loggia) wants his money back. Tim and Eric shave their soul patches, toss their designer jeans, and fire their spiritual guru, a pony-tailed Zach Galifianakis (uncredited), who pops up in Obi Wan-like visions to say, “I’ve got some poetry about regret I’d like to share with you.’’
Eric and Tim, our wholly unlikable and clueless protagonists (think “Dumb and Dumber’’), skip town, determined to make back that billion dollars they owe by resurrecting the Swallow Valley Mall, deep in the middle of somewhere. Our heroes, remade now as the Dobis PR company, literally jog across the country, as Aimee Mann’s “Two Horses’’ plays and their journey is intercut with slow-motion footage of stallions.
They arrive at the decrepit, squatter-filled mall to find stubborn entrepreneurs selling swords and recycled toilet paper. The mall is run by creepy Damien Weebs (Will Ferrell, also uncredited), who occupies himself in a back room endlessly watching “Top Gun’’ on VHS. Among the best performers is John C. Reilly (yes, uncredited) as the sickly, sore-covered Taquito, Damien’s henchman, abandoned by his family at the mall decades ago. “Also,’’ Damien warns, before handing over the operation to Tim and Eric, “You’re going to have to look out for the wolf.’’ A wolf stalks the mall. And the “Yogurt Man’’ haunts the defunct frozen yogurt kiosk.
You could view all of this as a bold, thinly veiled critique of the current economic depression. Or an exegesis of a nation driven by cable access infomercials and self-help shams. Or you could simply enjoy - if enjoy is the right sentiment - this gross-out comedy that graphically depicts masturbation, defecation, body piercing (you can guess which parts), grannies getting their fingers chopped off, and every smooshy and farty sound-effect possible. See it in the right sick frame of mind, and “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie’’ can be shockingly and terribly hilarious. Or not.