The Movie Waffler Film Maudit 2.0 2021 Review - NIGHT OF THE RUMPUS | The Movie Waffler

Film Maudit 2.0 2021 Review - NIGHT OF THE RUMPUS

night of the rumpus review
A creature spawned from toxic waste goes on the rampage during a town's celebration.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: Jorge Torres-Torres

Starring: Sam Main, Yana Bondar, Dain Marx, Eddy Lezama

night of the rumpus poster

In the golden age of exploitation filmmaking, the 1970s, b-movie makers would often capture footage of carnivals, parades and other such mass gatherings as a cheap way of adding production value, and an unwitting cast of thousands, to their otherwise threadbare films. With Night of the Rumpus, director Jorge Torres-Torres takes a leaf from the guerilla filmmaking manual, setting his lo-fi monster movie amid Athens, Georgia's annual hipster celebration, The Wild Rumpus.

night of the rumpus review

Trouble is, Torres-Torres can't find a worthwhile story in which to insert the footage of mass revelry he's captured on the sly. The bare bones plot tells us that at the previous year's Wild Rumpus a young woman was found murdered, and the chief suspect, a struggling local musician known as Scary Joe, was released after questioning.

A year later, with this year's Wild Rumpus about to kick off, the dead girl's surviving lover, Alice, still believes Joe is responsible and is determined to confront him. Meanwhile, a creature has formed from a combination of toxic military waste and a discarded used contraceptive tossed into the local river. Growing to full adult size over the course of a day, the creature heads downtown to the site of the Wild Rumpus to claim some victims.

night of the rumpus review

Night of the Rumpus boasts as schlocky a premise as you could imagine, but Torres-Torres appears to have greater ambitions for his film than a mere bit of six-pack Saturday night entertainment. Much of the movie plays like a throwback to '90s era Linklater, as we spend an interminable amount of time in the company of aging hipsters and slackers. But none of them are remotely interesting to spend time with, and aside from Alice, they're an irritating and affected bunch, none more so than an investigating journalism student who dresses like Little Red Riding Hood for no apparent reason, and who vanishes before her subplot has even begun.

night of the rumpus review

A combination of sloppy, unfoccussed camerawork and an irritating soundtrack of loud guitar dirges makes Night of the Rumpus something of a sensory endurance test. Torres-Torres seems determined to test our patience and resolve, and in discarding what limited setup his film initially offered in favour of rambling, nonsensical vignettes, he seems to have lost patience with his own film at some point in the production. I'm not sure if the Wild Rumpus gave the production permission to film, but they can't be happy with this representation of their annual shindig.

Night of the Rumpus
 screens as part of Film Maudit 2.0 2021 from January 12th - 24th. Click here for details.

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