By Ross Maclean
Cult US comedians Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim make the leap from their TV show to the big screen with Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie but they might as well not have bothered.
For what it’s worth the plot concerns Tim and Eric squandering a billion dollars on making a worthless film (this should be setting off irony sensors about now) and attracting the wrath of its funders, the nefarious top brass at Schlaaang Corporation (played by 80s stalwarts Robert Loggia and William Atherton). After seeing an ad by Damien Weebs (Will Ferrell) they end up taking over a run-down backwater mall in order to pay back their creditors.
Considering the talent of some of the supporting cast (Zach Galifianakis, John C. Reilly, Jeff Goldblum, Ray Wise) it’s a surprise to be presented with something so unequivocally terrible. It’s a laugh-free zone from the moment Goldblum leaves the screen after the first minute.
It attempts to break down the mystery of comedy and deconstruct the film through dry examinations of jokes and parodies of movie tropes but they fall completely flat at every turn. It is one thing to parody awful movies but that doesn’t make it exempt from being an awful movie itself.
Fans of Tim and Eric’s television work might get more from it but it’s an excruciating experience for anyone unfamiliar with the concept behind ‘anti-humour’. Non-fans are liable to be left angered by a film that, crucially, is actually intended to be funny by not being funny. Figure that one out. Even fans are likely to feel let down by what is a weak concept stretched to breaking point.
For 93 painful minutes it runs on and on with repetitive gags, pointless subplots and woefully bizarre nonsense. It’s not clever enough to succeed as a satire or outrageous enough to succeed in the gross out stakes.
Not only destined to be the worst film showing at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival, it’s likely to make it into your list of the worst films of all time. There is significance to the value quoted in the title of the film as that’s how much you’ll be asking for to ever have to watch it again.