Indie Roundup: ‘Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie’

If there was ever a movie to cleanse the palate of awards season good taste, it’s “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie.” It features, among other things, a used-toilet-paper salesman, copious body fluids, and a really improper use of a bathtub. Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim carved out a cult audience with their Adult Swim series “Tim & Eric Awesome, Great Job.” Like their show, this movie will have you laughing uproariously or leave you vaguely traumatized. Or both.

The story finds Tim and Eric — decked out in garish designer clothes, spray-on tans, and capped teeth — presenting their movie “Diamond Jim” to their funders, the sinister Schlaang Corporation. The CEO (a perpetually enraged Robert Loggia) and his underlings are not happy with the final product. For one thing, it cost a billion dollars. For another, the bumbling filmmakers managed to piece together only three minutes of film. The rest of the money went to the salary of the movie’s star — a Johnny Depp impersonator who was mistaken for the real McCoy — a suit made out of diamonds, and upkeep for their ludicrously lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

[Related: Indie Roundup: ‘Bullhead’]

On the hook for the squandered billion, the duo stumble upon a scheme to earn that same amount from shady businessman, and “Top Gun” enthusiast, Damien Weebs (Will Ferrell, who also produced the movie). Weebs offers them a king’s fortune to manage a shopping mall that looks like something out of “Road Warrior” and is plagued with, among other things, a man-eating wolf. Aided by Taquito, a feral, diseased man-child (played with abandon by John C. Reilly), Tim and Eric introduce themselves to the few merchants still eking out a living in the blighted mall. They include the aforementioned toilet paper vendor, a mysterious self-help cult that touts the power of “shrim,” and a middle-aged doe-eyed balloon animal seller whom Tim and Eric both fall for.

You have to give props to the filmmaker for making a flick that does absolutely nothing to enlarge its mass appeal. No sharp corners are rounded here. Instead, Tim and Eric give an absurdist middle finger to everything you hold dear — family, love, friendship … hygiene. And when you finally figure out what “shrim” is, you’ll probably wish that you hadn’t.

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March 2012

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