(US - 2019)
Directed by Fred Durst. Written by Dave Bekerman and Fred Durst. Cast: John Travolta, Devon Sawa, Ana Golja, Jacob Grodnik, James Paxton, Josh Richman, Marta Gonzalez Rodin, Kenneth Farmer, Martin Pena, Denny Mendez. (R, 88 mins)
"You are a fan. Without you, I'm nothing" - Hunter Dunbar
"I can't talk too long. I gotta poo" - Moose
From the moment a pic of a bowl-mulleted John Travolta went viral, showing him playing an obsessed stalker named Moose in a thriller directed by Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, THE FANATIC was instantly tapped as 2019's must-see bad movie. It's not as if Durst is a completely terrible director--his family-friendly 2008 Ice Cube comedy THE LONGSHOTS was a modest success in theaters--but THE FANATIC is a perfect storm. That's due in part to Durst's place as the poster boy for a rock subgenre that's aged like a piss-warm Monster energy drink, but mainly for the sorry state of Travoltablivion, with the iconic actor having spent the better part of the last decade in a VOD lull that probably makes him long for the glory days of BATTLEFIELD EARTH. GOTTI was a laughingstock and SPEED KILLS his all-time worst, but THE FANATIC is...well, it's something. So much so that you're torn between declaring it the next THE ROOM or admiring its insanity and marveling at the sheer chutzballs audacity of Travolta's truly unhinged, lunatic performance. For better or worse, you've never seen anything quite like THE FANATIC--not even the similarly stan-themed thrillers like 1981's THE FAN or 1996's THE FAN. It's bowing on VOD a week after tanking hard on about 50 screens across the US, which does THE FANATIC a grave injustice: this deserves to be the next midnight movie sensation playing to packed audiences shouting out Travolta's most ridiculous lines ROCKY HORROR-style. Is THE FANATIC good? Fuck no, it's not good. But it was everything I hoped it would be after seeing that pic of Travolta and everyone who loves movies needs to experience it.
|Devon Sawa: in character or genuinely
marveling at Travolta's work in THE FANATIC?