Director Caleb Emerson, best known as an editor of Comedy Central’s Tosh.0, presents Frankie in Blunderland, that actually might be the oddest and twisted mindset film ever to splash across the screen with vivid imagination and perhaps elements of eccentric mannerisms that delve deeper into the subconscious trying to understand what life might actually comprehend to all or at least Frankie.
This film tells the story of Frank Bellini (Tommy Pistol), whose life is a complete mess facing a daily collage of questionable events and encounters with social outcasts, misfits, and fantasy filled individuals who appear as they are triangle pegs forced into a standardized square hole of normalcy for society’s perception. First, one must realize not all cinema, finds the same audience, and this movie definitely fits into that realm, and sometimes, a production defies a genre, though likely this creation likens itself to the art-house fantasy genre. Secondly, it is without a doubt that the late screenwriter Marta Estirado presented a strange trip for the characters and equally the audience, with a dreamlike blending of interactions that fit into a simple yet deeply probing statement “Today is Stupid”. The point, life, asking the mortal question does a plan exist for everyone, or more likely a random pointless interaction with others all choosing fates based on learn knowledge and opportunities presented naturally or just cosmic hijacks. Some of the characters interactions come from Freddy the Holy Hobo (John Karyus) and everyone eventually comes in contact in their everyday lives of the prophecy seeker on the city streets to the doomsday crier in the small town, herein no different, except for the oddest characters. That presents in a dead tie between The Butterfly and The Spidah, respectively portray in complete lunacy and yet memorable, Evan Stone (adult film star with over 1100 credits) and the horror fans, Debbie Rochon (189 credits in horror growing every day, and recently known for Axe to Grind (2015)). This all adds into the plot, of Frankie, unable to battle with his live-in friend Spioch (Brett Hundley) and believing his uncouth wife Katie (Thea Martin)kidnapping has trapped him in carnival atmospheric freak show called life.
One wonders if this film is not a bit of existentialism, as for example the title Blunderland, blunders in life, mistakes or larger scope of a foggy landscape, hidden from the individual plodding aimlessly through life, even though they affirm that their course has a righteous path to success. Estirado’s examination focuses more on the development of the individual themselves, rather than a spiritual aspect. Life as this film portrays, shows how at times in life one bumps their funny bone, the chaos, the successes, failures, errors, and decisions, in the end they all become pointless, as death holds the winning hand. Emerson paints the mural of life of Frankie and in general, a reflection of everyone’s life, blindfolded, with natural instincts, then again, perhaps not and the entire movie blunders randomly with images splashing on the screen. Many other critics, compare the film to Alice in Wonderland, however, the film more deeply questions one’s own existence, in a funhouse mirror of good and evil battle with drunken clumsy mannerism and feels a bit like Falling Down (1993). In addition, the film definitely has the influences of David Lynch and John Waters, and that might be enough to turn this obscure movie into a cult flick, such as with Easerhead (1977) and Cecil B. Demented (2000), life is stupid, maybe this gem will shine as a beacon of hope and understanding.
Cinema, while existing to entertain, also, has the power to make statements if both the director and screenwriter proceed to champion a cause, such as Silkwood that stars the incredible Meryl Streep, and while this movie remains a far and distant yelp from that level of performance, it does represent a lasting impression. As the distribution company Wild Eye Releasing, takes risks, and the embolden films, that have outrageous conceptual leaps, all without a net, yet likely a strait-jacket resting nearby, as this movie clearly does not hold everyone’s interest. Although, fringe material sometimes becomes more intriguing with repeating viewing, and open mind to unusual performances with a question to social misconceptions that leave people living controlled lives without understanding the random world that exists past the blinders that so many wear.