No bullshit: Arizona is a weird, angry little movie.
Starring Danny McBride as an emasculated, pastel Polo-sporting Michael Myers, the feature debut of Eastbound & Down/Vice Principals 1st AD and 2nd Unit Man Jonathan Watson is sort of a slasher and sort of a comedy, but is mostly just pissed off.
Like John Carpenter's '78 stalk-and-slash grandaddy, Halloween - which, not coincidentally, McBride had a hand in writing David Gordon Green's upcoming direct sequel to - Arizona creates a sense of isolated, store bought Americana that represents safety for many of its country's citizens. Only now, thanks to a string of predatory loans and subsequent foreclosures, that security has been whisked away by lending institutions such as Countrywide, causing all who believed in this plastic dream to have it yanked away from them without a moment's notice. The developments made up of identical homes become wastelands, where nobody can hide.
It only makes sense that a few of these fleeced citizens would potentially lose their minds, pick up a knife or gun, and start putting bodies down on the manicured front lawns of these formerly booming cul-de-sacs. That's where McBride comes in, as he starts offing motherfuckers who he thinks done him wrong, financially-speaking. McBride's twice-divorced murderer runs amok and kidnaps forty-something Final Girl Rosemarie DeWitt, who now has to escape his clutches. With Arizona, Watson has crafted a nasty thriller that's tough to classify, and may not satisfy all (though this writer enjoyed the hell out of it).
Now, RLJ has released a full look at the movie, which does a decent job conveying just how truly bizarre its tone is. Take a look:
You feel a lot of Eastbound and Principals' influence on the picture - particularly in its supporting cast of wackos like Luke Wilson, David Alan Grier and Kaitlin Olson - with McBride essentially taking his Kenny Powers/Neil Gamby persona to its logical conclusion (killing people). It'll be interesting to see how viewers and critics take to the movie, as reactions out of Sundance were mostly mixed/negative.
Arizona hits theaters and VOD August 24th. We'll have my full take on the mortgage crisis massacre for you then.