Randy Moore

Random Media

One of the most surprising films to be released in 2013 was not a massive blockbuster. Instead, it was Escape from Tomorrow, an independent film effort, much of which was shot in the Walt Disney parks without permission from the company. Even though it was meant as a parody of the “Happiest Place on Earth,” lots of people thought that Escape from Tomorrow would never get released. However, after being championed by clearance counsel Michael Donaldson, the film was released. Ignored by the Disney company so as to not give additional attention to the movie with the Streisand Effect, Escape from Tomorrow was eventually released to a certain degree of success in theaters and video on demand. Writer/director Randy Moore sat down with his cinematographer Lucas Lee Graham in January of 2014 to record the commentary of the film they had shot in the fall of 2010 (with pick-ups in the spring of 2011), which is included on the DVD release of the film.

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Escape from Tomorrow

Editor’s note: Michael’s review of Escape From Tomorrow originally ran during this year’s Fantastic Fest, but we’re re-running it now as the film hits VOD and a limited theatrical release. Childhood is a chaotic sprawl of experiences; an eyelid flutter filtered through emotion, strained and catalogued down to core memories. Often times the way things happened aren’t the way they wind up interpreted. A wave of time passing can be a sticky mess to wade through, especially if going it alone. The day Jim (Roy Abramsohn) lost his job was the day he became a solitary man, stunted in fantasy and regressing to an age of wonder. Rather than spoil his family’s last day of vacation he keeps the news to himself. Herding kids around a theme park while keeping his wife happy is enough of a complication on its own. For Jim, wringing the pleasure out of the day before an inevitable crash comes calling is about all that he has going for him. That is until some young French girls give him a bit of attention on the monorail. For one day he has a new spark, a new reason to smile and a new fantasy to chase.

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trailer escape from tomorrow

If there’s one way to get your park-hopper pass revoked for good, it’s filming a movie, especially one that paints the company in such a depressing light, at Disneyland and Walt Disney World without permission. How Randy Moore, the writer and director of Escape From Tomorrow, hasn’t been sued yet by the wonderful world of Disney remains a mystery, but that might change after they get a whiff of the first trailer for the Sundance hit (read Allison Loring’s review) as it prepares for its theatrical release. In short, Roy Abramsohn plays Jim, a man on his last day of vacation with his family at the Walt Disney World resort. When he gets bad news over the phone from his boss, it triggers something that causes him to spiral out of control and see things that may or may not be there. His child’s eyes turn demonic and black, fellow parkgoers turn into Tinkerbells, fireworks become explosions — a man’s head turns into the Epcot Spaceship Earth sphere. Just check out the trailer for yourself:

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Escape from Tomorrow

The Disney theme parks are dubbed the “happiest place on earth” for a reason – they bring to life the fantasy of Disney’s movies and the fairy tale characters that populate them. While the parks are clearly geared towards children, they also give adults the chance to “be a kid again” and get lost in the fantasy themselves. Jim (Roy Abramsohn) has taken his wife Emily (Elena Schuber), daughter Sarah (Katelynn Rodriguez), and son Elliot (Jack Dalton) on a family vacation to Disney World, but on the last day of this seemingly idyllic trip, Jim gets a disappointing call from his boss (which he decides to keep secret from his family) and it seems to send him into a bit of a tailspin as the day wears on.

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