Like a torturously long, slapdash joke delivered by a snarky Sunday school student determined to piss off his devout elders, Never Been Thawed proves to be a self-consciously impudent and eager-to-mock indie comedy so convinced of its coolness that it even abbreviates its title to NBT. The acronym, however, might as well stand for Noxiously Buffoonish Tedium, as there’s a stench of desperate in-your-face inappropriateness emanating from director-star Sean Anders’s “skewering” of American subcultures and the dweebs who populate them. Taking aim at Christian rock, anti-abortion zealots, church-sponsored homosexual reversion therapy, abstinence programs, greedily opportunistic businessmen, radio DJs, and collectors of every obsessive variety, Never Been Thawed involves a bunch of Arizona twentysomethings who collect frozen foods—they’re part of an organization dubbed the Mesa Frozen Entrée Enthusiast Club—as if they were The 40 Year Old Virgin amassing valuable vacuum-sealed action figures. Two of these dorks, Sean (Anders) and Al (Allen Zwolle), are also in a punk band called The Christers that recently modified its sex-and-partying message to one about loving Jesus, though their musical conversion has less to do with born-again holiness than with a desire to make some moolah in an untapped marketplace. Anders’s film is constructed as a mockumentary for no apparent reason other than so characters can lazily recite monologues about their hobbies and romantic hopes directly to the camera, and his meandering script’s humor largely relies on Carrot Top-level props (magazines titled The Christian Profiteer and Apathy Monthly; outlandish frozen dinner packaging) and having his amateur cast spew the f-bomb as gratuitously as possible. Never Been Thawed‘s strained attempts to shock extend as far as using Sean’s slothful, strange-talking deaf brother Chris (John Morris) for cheap disability-related jokes. Though surprisingly enough, it’s Chris who serves up this no-budget dud’s funniest joke when, asked by a friendly mother to teach her Cub Scout son how to speak sign language, the perpetually profane lout raises his middle finger and helpfully explains, “This means fuck you.”
- Slippery Chicken
- 87 min
- Sean Anders
- Sean Anders, Chuck LeVinus, John Morris
- Sean Anders, Shelly Frasier, Allen Zwolle, Mike Gordon, John Morris, Charles Arnold, Scott Isham, John Angelo, Greg Behrendt, C.J. Cotton, Chuck LeVinus, Travis Randall
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