All Out Dysfunktion (2016) – By Paul Busetti

 

Ryan LeMaster’s “All Out Dysfunktion” imagines Los Angeles as an angry neon Bret Easton Ellis nightmare rave. Written by lead actor David Bianchi, it is a darkly comedic headache of pills, powder, forced sex, and blackmail that befall a group of fringe Hollywood actors and sex workers. It follows the lives of 6 roommates in an L.A. mansion is owned by former theater actress Clarelle (Melinda DeKay) who shepherds the tenants like a surrogate den mother. Gatorpaw (Dan Sanders-Joyce), her godson, neurotic actor Tyrell (Bianchi), twitchy Ranjit (Arsh Singh), struggling addict Carrie (AngeIica Chitwood), and Pleasure (Jenn Pinto),  the webcam vixen Ranjit is secretly obsessed with (and watches under the screen name curry_stick69).

How the disparate group came to live together is unclear but they represent the various traps one can fall into in Hollywood. They run up against drug dealers, sex starved starlets, and manic porno directors. In the third act, all hell breaks loose and the comedy turns violent as the stories converge at a massive house party. The claustrophobic nature of the production seems meant to set the table for the frenzied finale, but it makes the film a tough watch at times. We very rarely leave the mansion for a breath and due to this, it can feel theatrical.

The film is slickly shot and some of the performances are exemplary. Yul L. Spencer as porno director Mike “Mix Under Thunder” is electric and Melinda Dekay grounds the whole film and keeps it from spinning off into oblivion.  At one point while talking about her past brush with success she says “I was in it. I found glory” Soft moments like this are few and far between in a tremendous script which crackles with wit and profanity.

“All Out Dysfunktion” is reminiscent of other Southland tales such as “2 Days in the Valley”, “Mulholland Drive” and “The Canyons”.  Films that show L.A. as a false backdrop propped up by shallow vultures. Like those mentioned it purports to show how the seedy side of L.A. chews up dreamers. Also, for a film which is so much about sex, it shows the act as embarrassing, forced, violent, and disconnected.  It is unclear if the filmmakers agree with this outlook of the city or if they are just exploiting this perception for the sake of narrative.

View the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICyQ-IIzVv8