Director Allan Moyle held a great command over impulsive, youth-driven cinema years ago with "Pump Up the Volume" (a film that I adore) and "Empire Records" (a film that I abhor), before he was swept away to the land of insignificance. "Weirdsville" won't put Moyle back on the map, but it's a swell return to form for the director, executing a black comedy with an unexpected level of panache.
Royce (Wes Bentley) and Dexter (Scott Speedman) are two junkies confronted with the prospect of burying their friend Matilda (Taryn Manning) after she overdoses and dies. In the middle of the dig, they come across old high school acquaintance Able (Greg Bryk), who is leading a ceremony of satanic human sacrifice. After enabling a death, witnessing a murder, threatened by a crime lord for unpaid debts, and angering a pack of role-playing little people, Royce and Dexter spend a long night trying to fix their problems and avoid certain doom.
There are many moments where "Weirdsville" lives up to its name. It's an idiosyncratic caper, built with a foundation of irreverence and broad comedy, executed with enough speed to help gloss over the errant ideas and performances. As mentioned before, it's a dark farce, and while it doesn't push buttons, it still reaches out to some fairly bizarre subplots that require the viewer to be comfortable with the comedic potential of black magic, graphic murder, and drug abuse.
Moyle shows great control over most of "Weirdsville," taking joy in Willem Wennekers's screenplay by submerging the action in accelerated colors and embracing the slapstick nature of it all. There are moments where the film doesn't quite know where to go. Does it give the characters a realistic portrayal of life-altering desire (as seen in Dexter's attempts to kick his habit) or is all this nonsense played strictly for laughs? Moyle is often caught between the two approaches, leading to many scenes wallowing in pointless soul searching right after a bit of absurdity.
Something of a hybrid of "Spun" and "Race with the Devil," "Weirdsville" is best when it piles on the troubles for Royce and Dexter and allows the two buffoons a chance to process their trouble. Moyle nails those scenes, assisted by surprisingly lively performances from Bentley and Speedman. Overall, "Weirdsville" is an acquired taste, intended for those with a more forgiving sense of humor and a hunger for a little ugly in their silly.
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