This past summer, my friend Kathryn (who is fucking awesome) sent me a link on YouTube to watch Funky Forest. I made the mistake of starting to watch it right then and there. For the next thirty minutes, I poceeded to stare at my computer screen, slack-jawed and mildly horrified. I couldn’t stop watching. So, naturally, I have to tell you to watch it as well. (We function under the same rules as The Ring here at The Backseat Driver Reviews: I have to inflict the weird things I find on you, lest the creepy kid climb through my television to kill me.) Here are five reasons to bop on over to YouTube this weekend and check outF Funky Forest: The First Contact.
|It’s special. Yeah. Special is a good word to describe this film.|
Two and a half hours of insane plot, iffy special effects, hammy acting and … you know what? There are tons of other surprises. I know that I go spoiler-heavy in this blog, but this one… this one is special. I’m not saying a damn thing more. You need to experience this for yourself.
Can’t do two and a half hours in one stretch? Good news: Funky Forest is broken into segments! In all honesty, there were some points where I needed to walk away from this one. If I’m being completely honest, then I need to disclose that I kept coming back to it. I’d watch it in fits and spurts. If you can do the whole shot at once, more power to you. I doled this one out like it was a World War Two ration of butter. Great, now I want butter…
|No context for you!|
At times, the music’s tone is strangely sentimental. Other times, it feels like you’re stuck in a circa-1978 porno. I wouldn’t have been surprised if the line uttered at that moment was, “What are these two plumbers doing here?” I have to admit, though, that the effect it has on the film is an increase in the fun factor. Completely bizarre, but it adds to the experience. Again, you need to experience this one first hand. Add to it the dancing at times, and it gets even stranger.
I don’t say that lightly. I’ve sat through some weird stuff that I find totally normal that others can’t stomach for being too out-there (man, the looks I got for putting on Peter Jackson’s Meet the Feebles one evening…). I can handle weird; I usually watch it with a smile. So when I say that something is completely fucking weird, I mean that I started to wonder if someone had started pumping nitrous oxide through my ventilation system without telling me. It’s that out-there. Marvellous? Strange? Glorious? Traumatic? You be the judge.
You know that feeling you get when you watch a Japanese gameshow and you wonder how on earth someone came up with the idea for a human being to wear a giant pickle suit that’s covered in gravy while running an obstacle course with a horde of angry chinchillas chasing said gravy-covered pickle? (The worst part of that statement: you’ve watched a show matching that exact description in the wee hours of the morning at some point in your life.) That’s really what watching this film is like. You won’t be able to tear your eyes away from it.
|Yes, this is an actual still.|
#6 – Rinko Kikuchi
I have an unabashed crush on Rinko Kikuchi. You ever want to see me really happy? Throw on Pacific Rim. The blue streaks in her hair are possibly my favorite look of hers, and the costumes are kind too: I don’t know if I like the combat boots and umbrella combo or Jaeger suit better. As a bonus, she’s in a giant robot fighting monsters! SHE GETS THE GODDAMNED VOLTRON SWORD AT ONE POINT! But I digress. So yeah, she’s in this. Her hair is really long and she’s very pretty when she smiles. She’s not afraid to do quirky stuff, either, which just makes her all the more endearing. So if you’re a really simple creature like yours truly, it’s reason enough to watch it.
You’ve been warned. It’s simultaneously strange and enchanting. Have fun, kids.