Jason Momoa Goes Full ‘Pain and Gain’ in New Clips From Dystopian Cannibal Flick ‘The Bad Batch’
You may recall an atmospheric black-and-white Iranian vampire film from a couple of years back called A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night; the debut feature from Ana Lily Amirpour was one of the best films of 2014, and introduced us to a promising new director. Amirpour is back this year with The Bad Batch, a dystopian cannibal western that’s playing this month at TIFF and stars Jason Momoa, Suki Waterhouse, Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey (this cast is nuts, y’all). To give us a little, um, taste of what’s in store, two new clips from the film have debuted online, and they might be a little different from what you expected.
Or not…Amirpour proved herself as an exciting and visionary talent with A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, in which she took classic genre tropes and iconography and transformed them into something original and surprising. She could very well do the same with The Bad Batch, which, judging by these clips (via The Playlist), stylishly incorporates action influences into a genre-bending story. Take, for instance, this clip of Jason Momoa in a corner of the cannibalistic dystopia that looks like Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain version of the post-apocalypse (also please note the can of “Jizzy Fizz,” which has to be brilliant satire):
The second clip seems uneventful at first, though it does give us an idea of the atmosphere Amirpour has created, which feels evocative of George Miller’s Mad Max films:
Amirpour’s latest debuted at the Venice film festival, where it received mixed reviews (/Film rounded up a few highlights) comparing it to Richard Kelly’s divisive Southland Tales, Mad Max: Fury Road and Spring Breakers — though not entirely favorably. If anything, it sounds like Amirpour has made a darkly satirical dystopian film in the vein of Paul Verhoeven, a director whose latter works have been consistently undervalued and misunderstood (that sounds great to me, to be honest). Here’s the official synopsis:
A girl walks across a cannibal-infested desert at midday…. Ana Lily Amirpour’s highly anticipated follow-up to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night feints in the direction of sensationalistic horror — and, be forewarned, blood is spilled and limbs are hacked — but The Bad Batch, like Amirpour’s deliciously low-key debut, uses genre as a springboard for high style and social commentary.
The aforementioned girl (Suki Waterhouse) is one of thousands of Americans deemed unacceptable to civilized society. While wandering in her desert exile, she is captured by a community of cannibals. She manages to escape, soon ending up at a very different enclave of outcasts. Our heroine is safe here, but still does not quite feel that she has found her tribe.
On an excursion beyond the gates of her new shelter, she encounters one of her former cannibal captors (Jason Momoa), who ends up requiring her help. But can she do it without one of them getting slaughtered in the human-eat-human world where savagery is considered central to survival?
The Bad Batch will have its North American premiere at TIFF this month. It does not yet have a U.S. release date, but Netflix appears to have secured the distribution rights, so expect it to hit relatively soon.