Saturday, September 2, 2017

Phil's Horror Watch: ANTIBIRTH (2016) from IFC Midnight/Scream Factory- Sept. 2, 2017

Starring Natasha Lyonne, Chloë Sevigny, Meg Tilly, Mark Webber, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, Emmanuel Kabongo
Written by Danny Perez
Cinematography by Rudolf Blahacek
Edited by Aden Bahadori
Produced by Cole Payne, Roger M. Mayer, Natasha Lyonne, David Anselmo, Justin Kelly
Directed by Danny Perez
Originally distributed by IFC Midnight
Released by Scream Factory

I've seen some pretty bizarre horror films during my tenure here on planet Earth. While entertaining, I've often found myself scratching my head and asking myself, "Why the hell am I still watching this?" It's a question I'm sure you've all asked yourselves quite often when you're watching a movie that is utterly and completely batshit crazy. Whether it's a Troma movie, an Edward D. Wood Jr. masterpiece, or a Roger Corman cult classic, there are some movies that are so far out there, you would need a telescope to fine the plot. Case in point, the movie that I just saw entitled ANTIBIRTH, that truly falls in that "batshit crazy" category that I mentioned earlier.

The film's official synopsis: Hard-drinking, pill-popping, bong-ripping Lou (Natasha Lyonne) and her best friend Sadie (Chloë Sevigny) spend their days adrift in a drug infused haze. But one wild night out becomes a bad trip that never ends when Lou wakes up with symptoms of an unexplained, highly abnormal pregnancy. Who—or what—is growing inside her? As her due date approaches with alarming swiftness, the fear, paranoia, and conspiracy theories begin to pile up. Spiked with blasts of hallucinatory color, surreal shocks, and subversive comedy, the audacious feature debut from Danny Perez is a no-holds-barred descent into delirium.

Original Theatrical Poster (2016)
Watching the film was the equivalent of taking a handful of acid while drinking the leftover Kool-Aid from Jonestown. It's a madhouse of trippy colored lights and filters, incoherent plotline and acting that borders on spastic avant garde and high school play. So yeah, it was a batshit crazy movie to watch.

I loved watching Natasha Lyonne in the movie though. She's always been an underrated actress in my humble opinion. Having seen her shine in the 1998 indie film SLUMS OF BEVERLY HILLS, she quickly became popular and starred in films like DETROIT ROCK CITY, BUT I'M A CHEERLEADER, SCARY MOVIE 2 and the AMERICAN PIE series. Today's filmgoers will recognize her from the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black as Nicky Nichols and from the IFC series Portlandia. The film captures her eccentric and eclectic style of acting as Lou, who is balls out crazy and funny as hell. It's almost as if she's playing herself, which is like watching a brilliant trainwreck unfold before your naked eyes. Chloë Sevigny is the best friend that you love to hate cause of all the stupidly bad decisions that she makes. Together, these two fine ladies have great on-screen chemistry and bring their chaotic friendship to the big screen.

Writer/director Danny Perez isn't your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, wannabe Hollywood filmmaker. Oh no, that would be too boring and predictable. Nope, our guy wrote a script that is completely out of this world; landing somewhere between Ingmar Bergman and a John Waters storyline. It's wonky and bizarre with lighting and compositions straight out of a Dario Argento film. It's irrelevant, incomprehensible and just fucking weird. So it was pretty interesting for all the wrong reasons.

The film premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2016 and was picked up by IFC Midnight shortly thereafter. It was given a limited theatrical release before being distributed on Blu-Ray and DVD by Scream Factory in February of 2017.

ANTIBIRTH gets my vote for Best Cult Classic Film of 2017 award! If you find yourself questioning you place in the world and have difficulty accepting the sad state that your life is currently in, then this movie is right up your alley! 3 1/2 out of 5 stars! Worth watching!

ANTIBIRTH is currently available on Bu-ray and DVD. To purchase a copy for yourself, visit your local retailer or order it from Scream Factory by visiting To learn more about IFC Midnight and their film library, visit their website at

Thanks for reading and enjoy the show!

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