As if real movie trailers aren’t bad enough, there’s been a trend in the last few years of creating fake trailers for movies that don’t exist. The 2007 Grindhouse double-feature had a number of fake trailers between the two films, and at least one of them (featuring Danny Trejo as Machete) was actually made into a real movie (albeit not a good one). Similarly, the film Hobo with a Shotgun also began life as a fake trailer that was turned into a very enjoyable movie. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to hope that the trailer for The FP was just a hoax.
Frazier Park is a fairly small town in southern California, a little northwest of Los Angeles. At first glance, it would seem pretty normal. But on a closer look, there is something horribly wrong. It’s like it was ground zero for an A-bomb detonation, but in this case “A” is for “asshole”. It’s almost like a post-apocalyptic devolution where everyone is trying to see whether they can make themselves look dumber than they sound, and it’s a tight race. Every sentence out of their mouths is laced with stupidity and profanity, and rival gangs are always fighting each other over who gets what turf. But they do their fighting with their feet rather than their fists. They play a game called “Beat Beat Revelation” (i.e., we couldn’t get the rights to use “Dance Dance Revolution”).
Two of the biggest gangs are the “248” from the north, and the “245” from the south (and although this isn’t explicitly stated in the movie, it seems that these are telephone exchanges within the 661 area code). BTRO (pronounced bee-trow) is the best Beat-Beat player in the 248, while the 245 is ruled by L Dubba E, and in one particularly heated match BTRO’s legs started to give out, and then his whole body. BTRO died, and his younger brother JTRO couldn’t take it anymore. He left the thug life and got a normal job and started talking and dressing like a normal person. But when L Dubba E seized this opportunity to take over the town, the fate of the FP rests in JTRO’s feet.
Even the most uptight stick in the mud has to get some enjoyment out of the trailer for The FP. It’s the kind of thing that’s just about perfect for a two-minute trailer, and is excruciating for an 82-minute movie. If you take out everything from the trailer, the film is just a lot of swearing, a couple of unnecessarily long training montages, and what is kind of a disgusting trailer park love story. There’s surprisingly little BBR-playing in the film, and what is there is pretty anti-climactic. Even the film’s climax is anti-climactic. What happens at the end isn’t surprising, but I was surprised by how lame they managed to make it seem.
The only reason I saw this movie is because it is being distributed by Drafthouse Films and I wanted to support them. However, I’m surprised Drafthouse Films would have picked this movie, not so much because of the content, but because it’s almost contrary to the experience they want to provide in Alamo Drafthouse theaters. The theaters are like churches for movies, with strict policies preventing talking, texting, or other kinds of disruptive behaviors, but the kinds of people who really get into The FP are the worst offenders in this regard. There’s not much chance I would have liked The FP even if the people next to me weren’t talking for most of the movie (and yelling a couple of times), but it certainly added to the frustration of the experience.