10 Mar CRACKHEADS REVIEW
Sometimes, the funniest things are the things we are not supposed to laugh at. Things that are not considered politically correct. While many comedy movies over the last year have fallen flat by being rehashed versions of other comedies you have seen a thousand times before, Crackheads is the complete opposite of that. While you may not know anyone starring in the movie, and the budget was clearly tight at times, what you end up having is a funnier and ballsier movie than most mainstream comedies around today. So what is Crackheads about? Exactly what the name implies.
Crackheads poses the eternal and age old question: what would you do if someone handed you a bag of meth, free of charge? While we all like to think we would throw it out or run the other way, the reality is, we humans are weak, and we look for any easy out we can get. This brings us to our four main characters. First, you have the scene stealing Nick (played by Jeremy Birchall). A priest who you could say is slightly tormented by a questionable past that reveals itself across the course of the film. We have Thomas (Preston O’Brien), the buttoned-up psychologist who just can’t seem to let his guard down enough to truly bond with his patients.
Third is Raj (Alvin Maharaj), the emasculated failing actor who feels like he is on his last legs and is willing to do whatever it takes to give him an advantage. And last, we have Jim (Kurt Stowers), the sex-obsessed car salesman who essentially has no moral compass. The games begin for this motley crew when one of Nick’s parishioners hands Nick some meth she found in her son’s room, hoping he can talk some sense into the boy. Nope, free bag of meth and four friends who are all lost in life. I think you can see where this is going.
They do all the meth.
And they are instantly addicted, of course. The irony being that there is no illusion given here that this drug will slowly ruin your life. They show you, straight up, in an hour’s time just how quickly this shit will make you spiral. What is so great about Crackheads is that they also let us LAUGH at it, which you really can’t do normally. While there is something admittedly sad about grown men robbing shit and going into withdrawals, there is also an unabashed honesty to it. What’s funny is, the first time they do it, the next day it fixes their immediate problems. The meth helps Nick do a passionate sermon which lands him the gig. Raj’s meth-fueled interpretation of an Indian cashier pushed too far lands him a part he always wanted. Even Thomas connects better with one of his patients because, as the patient puts it, this is the first time he has seen Thomas act like an actual person. Things don’t stay that rosey, though, and they spend the rest of the movie ‘chasing the dragon.’
Sick, twisted stuff, but stuff we never got to laugh at before this. That is what makesCrackheads work.
But this being meth things go south, awfully quick. The movie slowly becomes them going from fix to fix and losing everything in the process. There is one particularly funny scene when Thomas can’t find meth and ends up taking some LSD. The end result is he loses all his money and hits rock bottom at an alarming rate with the three others. Though all the actors do a good job with their characters, it is the Nick character played by Jeremy Birchall who really shines in this movie. From the slow reveal of his past (let’s just say before they were calling him priest, he was known as ‘the chemist’) to the moment when he snorts meth before doing a sermon and then proceeds to ‘weep for the lord’ throughout the entirety of it (though we know he is weeping because the meth is burning his nasal passages), he is a scene-stealer. He also has a scene where he uses the confessional to try to find out where they can score more meth. Sick, twisted stuff, but stuff we never got to laugh at before this. That is what makes Crackheads work. It allows us a moment to find humor in darkness. To laugh at the absurdity of it all, while still being aware this is a real thing that actually happens to people.
So do things change tone and turn up rosey for our crew just in time for a happy ending? Well, I won’t spoil it here, but this is meth. Remember kids, meth doesn’t come with too many happy endings. But at least, in this case, you can laugh at the poor souls circling the drain. Check out Crackheads. On a movie landscape filled with clones and remakes, it has a spark of originality and the brass balls that most comedies just seem to lack these days.
“Crackheads” is available on iTunes.