Movie Review: ‘Escape from Tomorrow’
Directed by: Randy Moore
Starring: Roy Abramsohn and Elena Schuber
Plot: Jim has a nervous breakdown on the last day of his family’s Disney vacation
They are calling this “the movie that should not exist.” It was filmed on practically zero budget candidly during operating hours of different Disney theme parks. The people in the background are real people enjoying their day while filmmaker Randy Moore guerrilla films his movie around them seemingly without their knowledge. I’m not really sure the implication of using all those unwilling unpaid extras, but I am still surprised to hear that the Disney company hasn’t made any attempts to block the film’s release on VOD.
The movie is a really interesting experiment. Shot entirely in black and white, it follows the nervous breakdown of family man, Jim. On their last day at the park, he gets a call from his boss, and he is fired from his job. Not to ruin their fun, he decides to keep it from his family. It starts eating him from the inside out. He starts feeling and looking sick. He starts hallucinating and becomes obsessed with two young French girls. He practically stalks them pretending to bring his kids on different rides. He starts having run ins with strange people from around the park including a sex crazed princess, a first aid nurse paranoid of “cat flu,” and an evil scientist working underneath the Spaceship Earth ride at Epcot.
There are a lot of interesting ideas and directions that the movie tries to make, but unfortunately, it is not very good. The acting is the definition of amateur, and it doesn’t have the quality of writing to lean on. Abramsohn has a few decent moments, his spacey hallucination trips being the best, but he doesn’t have the follow through to make up for the cheapy appearance and quality. Under different circumstances the black and white coloring could be forgiven (like Clerks or Pi), but instead it seems like a VHS tape passed around a college campus as a must watch just for the weirdness. The weirdness could have been cool too if there was a little more focused. It was more of a kitchen sink approach throwing everything at us. Erotic thrills. Family psychodrama. Mad scientists, crazy diseases, and reality warping.
I’m torn about hating this movie though. I dig its ambitious and its creativity in getting the job done. It is that kind of DIY filmmaking that I’d like to see more of. Sometimes there will be bad apples like this one, but the payoff of more auteurs making film is totally worth it.
Yeah, this movie had a nice idea and novelty going for itself, but after awhile, it just felt like it really went nowhere. Good review.