DIRECTED BY: Caleb Emerson
PLOT: Everyone hates Frank. Especially his wife Katie and his best frienemy Tommy Spioch, who asked to crash on their couch two years ago and never left. Tommy spends most of his time lusting after Katie who seems to hate him just as much as she hates Frank. Frank’s existence is stupid. After two possibly accidental homicides, two kidnappings and a visit from a talking spider, Frankie’s world is turned upside down as he drifts through Blunderland searching for his missing wife.
COMMENTS: The second feature from Caleb Emerson (Die, You Zobie Bastards!), Frankie in Blunderland shows a modicum of restraint compared to the previous film—it’s a bit more structured than the ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ approach of Bastards, yet it pumps up the surrealism.
Scripted by Marta Estirado (who appears in the film and died shortly after principal shooting was finished), Blunderland plays as a post-modern L.A. hipster bounce on Lewis Carroll’s well known tale, and possibly “The Odyssey” as well. Aramis Sartorio (The Gruesome Death of Tommy Pistol) plays Frank, a loser who’s not so loveable, and who, truth be told, is probably his own main problem. Despite everything, Frankie still believes that things can only get better, even after two possible murders, and the kidnapping of his wife, which leads him to wander the Blunderland landscape (AKA L.A.) looking for her and encountering various other misfits and oddkins such as a hobo prophet (John Karyus), a Mormon missionary who may actually be a space alien ( John Christopher Morton), lesbian robots, oracle spiders (Debbie Rochon), and just plain slackers all of whom either help or hinder his search for Katie.
Blunderland would make be a good double-bill companion with Tommy Pistol, in that both are absurdist looks at life in The City of Angles (and they share some of the same actors). It’s a good candidate for The List mainly for its visual style and cast of crazy characters, but also because it’s an anti Rom-Com that’s actually successful and doesn’t cop out at the end.