Tara Lynne Barr

SXSW: God Bless America

Editor’s Note: This originally ran as part of our SXSW 2012 coverage, but God Bless America sees limited theaters this weekend. Should you check it out? “Jesus Frank, you look like fuck pie.” As we meet Frank, a lonely, recently unemployed man soaked in discontent for a society gone awry, it’s clear that no more clear a portait of his current state could be painted than the words spoken by his 16-year-old companion, a troubled girl named Roxie. In a country filled with appalling reality television, fear-mongering telepundits and a nation whose prime directive is to be as hopelessly mean to each other as possible, Frank has had enough. Unable to connect with an oblivious ex-wife and his spoiled rotten 7-year old daughter, and saddled with the news that his migraine headache affliction may, in fact, be a massive brain tumor, Frank sets out to do something noble — shoot a reality TV princess. That’s where he meets Roxie, an onlooker to the murder of a girl who represents all the seething awful that bad upper middle class parenting can create. A  troubled young girl who would become the Bonnie to his Clyde, an inspiration for a killing spree that spans all levels of America’s rotten culture. From religious nutjobs to the devotees of an American Idol-esque competition show, no one will escape the wrath of a desperate man and his frighteningly over-zealous sidekick.

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MTV, TMZ, The Real Housewives of Whereever, Dancing With the Whoever…modern pop culture is a wasteland of broken people being made famous for little other than the willingness to humiliate themselves. But the bigger problem is, more and more we’re viewing what the people involved in these projects do not as humiliation, but as “living the dream.” If you’re one of the good ones who thinks that the current cultural milieu in the United States is poisonous and is creating a society of vain, ignorant, entitled freaks…well, then director Bobcat Goldthwait has a cathartic expression of violence in store for you. Goldthwait’s latest film, God Bless America, is about a man who gets pushed to the brink and responds by going on a murderous rampage where he systematically mows down all of pop culture’s most vile, vapid icons (with some collateral damage involving rude, selfish, everyday behavior along the way). Check out the film’s red band trailer after the break.

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