After making a splash at SXSW last year and earning great reviews on the festival circuit, the new film from idiosyncratic writer/director Joel Potrykus is another collaboration with actor Joshua Burge and another entry into a genre that could be described as slacker horror. Relaxer takes what would be the fantasy of many a lazy nerd — gaming all day on the couch — and turns it into a curse.
One man stands (OK, sits) before the coming Y2K apocalypse and he has a single goal before technology potentially undoes everything society knows: beat Pac-Man's inherently unbeatable level 256. In the process, his loser friends stop by, his couch-bound situation becomes increasingly desperate, and his world deteriorates in symmetry with the bug-ridden maze of the arcade standby. Oh, and things get really, really gross.
Take a look:
Things get a lot more survival-oriented than your typical gamer film, though that's just part of Potrykus' dedication to disgustingly dry strangeness that treats the most surreal subjects with gross realism. And hey, was that Ant-Man's David Dastmalchian?
The poster below reinforces some of those '90s nostalgia vibes... but replacing the nasty squalor with transcendence:
Relaxer will suck you in when it hits theaters on March 22.