Friday, September 14, 2018

The Town That Dreaded Pepperoni

One year at Thanksgiving I was poisoned by marijuana. I generally don't like being stoned at all - it tends to exacerbate my already semi-crippling social anxiety - but a friend brought delicious little appetizer empanadas to nosh on one holiday and I figured hey, why not a nibble? Cut to an hour later and I was gumming my mashed potatoes in a daze, the room spiraling around me - I had to go lay on my bedroom floor for the rest of the night.

That wasn't a nice feeling, and it was sort of the same feeling that I had watching Slice. Like this is somebody else's stoner party and I've got food drooling down my chin. The movie, which ostensibly is about a serial killer murdering pizza delivery boys, is actually about fifty other things on top of that - granola witches and ghosts, Chris Parnell painting three breasted ladies. It's a standard case of Try Hard that can't focus on the fork in front of it. Its bite is way off.

Okay I'll try to drop the Turkey Metaphors, pinkie swear. There are a lot of things going for Slice - that title being the giddiest among them, but it has an impressive up and comer cast (not to mention the A24 stamp of approval) given how sloppy the script is. Zazi Beetz, Y'lan Noel, Joe Keery, Hannibal Buress and Chance the Rapper all have their appeals. But Slice can't commit - it's all over the place. It's highly (highly, get it) reminiscent of Sorry To Bother You, but Boots Riley managed to hold all those balls in his hands at once - writer-director Austin Vesely isn't quite so dexterous as all that. 

Still I'm down with the strange and imaginative place that some movies have wandered towards these days, so I can't really hate on Vesely too hard for swinging for the fences and swiffing this once. My friend with the poisonous weed had good intentions, and Slice has some charm in its defiant individuality. It's like a pizza with fudge and guacamole on top - somebody's probably gonna love that, but it's not my taste. (You can watch the trailer here.)

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