God Bless America (2011)





Wow.  I don’t know what I expected from a flick called GOD BLESS AMERICA directed by Bobcat Goldwait but boy is it awesome.  Joel Murray, brother of Bill Murray, plays Frank–a down on his luck divorced father who has just lost his job and finds out he has a brain tumor.  Feature film newcomer Tara Lynne Barr plays Roxy, a high schooler who wants to help Frank in his new found mission to “take out the trash.”





Meet Frank. His day was worse than yours.

Frank dreams of shooting all of the folks who piss you off.  That’s right.  Not just him or me, but even you dear reader, get to live vicariously through the heavenly and sublime lens of Bobcat Goldwait.  

He hates his job.

This film is pretty much tidbits of discussion relating to the inability of people to discuss or give meaning to anything of value now in today’s overnight insta-celeb world of reality TV.  No one wants to be famous for doing something well so much as just do something because of the random fall of the limelight.  There is a William Hung knock off who is ridiculed nonstop for his attempt at fame and fortune on the show American Superstarz.  Frank is constantly reminded of this and after wrestling with himself and Roxy over whether he should kill himself after going off the deep end and offing a spoiled rich bitch from Sweet Sixteen reality show.  Roxy convinces him not to because of the incredibly realistic possibility that his message may be misconstrued.  Instead of striking a blow against arrogance and greed he would be viewed as a total creeper who killed her because he couldn’t have her.  

He really hates his job.

The humor in this exchange is so dark it’s blacker than black.  Tara puts on a dry-cleaning bag so she can sit in front of Frank and watch him off himself!  Whacky shit in this one.

Who hasn’t dreamt something similar?

Every kill is done in spectacular fashion blood flies within the first five minutes of this badass exploitation comedy.  Goldwait crafts a great genre flick with a message…gah this is two in a row for me–though I still can’t recall a slasher or gork flick with a message!  He has Joel Murray pointing every variety of gun in every direction.  It is astounding at how adeptly these tiny set piece shootings are strung together with a healthy dose of violent vignettes in between.  Frank plus Tara with some guns and someone who they’ve decided “deserves to die” leads to darkly madcap mayhem.  Frank even goes after a “news” host not because he disagrees with his politics, Frank agrees with his stance on gun control, but because he isn’t very nice!  This leads to an entertaining showdown that gave me a chuckle at the lunacy (just my personal view) of packing heat while jogging.  

See? He points that thing everywhere

All in all this is such an enjoyable dirty pleasure.  There is a reason my thoughts on firearms are the way they are and part of that is that I would go Frank every fifteen minutes when I flipped my shit.  Check this thing out it is a bizarre commentary on the environment as it has been shaped by reality TV and media.  Let it give you some hope in humanity that someone out there has been paying attention.

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