Weirdsville

Weirdsville

“Were we in hell?” “No, we were at the drive-in.” What began as the script for a horror film evolved into a humanistic comedy about three friends trying to get out of a jam while staying a step ahead of a group of misguided Satan worshippers. In Northern Ontario, the transition from Weedsville to Weirdsville […]

“Were we in hell?” “No, we were at the drive-in.”

What began as the script for a horror film evolved into a humanistic comedy about three friends trying to get out of a jam while staying a step ahead of a group of misguided Satan worshippers.

In Northern Ontario, the transition from Weedsville to Weirdsville appears to come easily. Dexter (Scott Speedman) is the quiet introspective one and Royce (Wes Bentley) is the ideas man, but drug-influenced brainstorming does not usually produce good plans. So when Matilda (Taryn Manning) will not wake up, the advantages of burying her body at a closed drive-in theatre outweigh the more sensible call to 911. From there, things spiral out of control. Soon they are running from servants of the dark lord, employing the help of midgets, and feeling guilty about screwing good people to save themselves. But as the song says, “It all works out in the end somehow.”

Bentley and Speedman each bring sincerity to the characters they play. Their on-screen chemistry is undeniable as the script relies heavily on their ability to play off one another and they are often left to carry scenes on their own, at which they succeed seemingly effortlessly.

Manning spends a lot of her screen time unconscious but when she is alert, she convincingly portrays a stylish drug addict with ambition. In addition to her thespian abilities, the film also features the song “It’s not my fault” from Manning’s upcoming album.

Greg Bryk plays Abel, the former high school delinquent that now leads the well-dressed Satanists on their mission of evil. His misplaced determinism is comical; the more seriousness he displays, the funnier it is.

Weirdsville’s director Allan Moyle was instantly attracted to the script. “It’s really made for me. It’s about drugs, freaky people and things,” says the Canadian who is also responsible for Pump up the Volume, Empire Records, and New Waterford Girl. As the story itself is unusual, Moyle chose an unconventional, unpolished look for the film which suits it perfectly. The lighting is dark, the shots are hazy and the editing does not always immediately make sense.

Weirdsville is humourous, original, fast-paced and has several memorable key moments and pieces of dialogue. This film is more evidence Canada produces good films.