I don't know if I can properly articulate why I love the comedy of Tim Heidecker and Eric Warheim.
The duo, best known for their shows on Adult Swim like Tom Goes To The Mayor and Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, are more polarizing than Newt Gingrich and dubstep music. You either love them and think their material should be hanging in The Louvre, or you despise them. There's unfortunately no middle ground and no room to compromise -- just ask the angry people who stormed out of, and heckled their movie at Sundance.
After I discovered them while in college, it became a rite of passage to pass along their absurd, surreal sketches to anyone who would listen. Sometimes, it was successful and others would join my quest to spread the gospel of Tim and Eric. Other times, it ended in disaster. My girlfriend at the time had to physically leave the room whenever they were on screen. One friend, whom I showed an episode involving a man basking in the joy of watching another man sleep, waited until it was over and responded, "I feel stupider for even watching this."
Here's a litmus test for deciding whether or not their new feature film, Tim And Eric's Billion Dollar Movie is right for you:
Would you find the following things funny?
1. A poignant love scene involving a mustachioed inflatable sex doll
2. Academy Award nominee Robert Loggia cutting off an elderly woman's fingers
3. A Prince Albert piercing scene with a Mark Wahlberg-eqsue prosthetic penis
4. Four boys defecating on a man in a bathtub
5. A very sickly John C. Reilly fighting a wolf
In Billion Dollar Movie, Tim and Eric have just blown 10 figures on a movie called Diamond Jim and only have three minutes of usable footage. That's because they've spent most of the budget on 10-course meals, lavish Hollywood makeovers, weekly stipends of $500,000 for their spiritual adviser Jim Joe Kelly (Zach Galifianakis) and a Johnny Depp impersonator as their lead, clad in a diamond jacket. After this Gigli-sized disaster, they must now repay the evil financer of the Schlaaang Corporation (Loggia) or face the violent consequences.
While urinating in a nightclub, they discover a way to recoup the money they lost; all they have to do is take over the Swallow Valley Mall from its shady, Top Gun-loving owner (Will Ferrell). The mall is run-down, has hobos living inside, and is terrorized by a wolf running through the pizza court. With their expert public relations and marketing knowledge, their task is to restore the mall, complete with sex toy, sword and used toilet paper stores, back to its glory.
Produced by literal billionaire Mark Cuban, Billion Dollar Movie was the film I anticipated most of 2012. No Dark Knight, nor any Avengers, filled me with any similar anxiety-filled, happy pains in my loins. I laughed violently from the opening infomercial to the hidden scene after the credits featuring Family Ties star Michael Gross. Perhaps my fanboy blinders cloud my judgment, but Billion Dollar Movie is the funniest film I've seen in years (For discretionary purposes, I also said the same thing about MacGruber).
When the movie is unleashed in theaters in March, I'm curious as to how the mainstream will handle it. Is the world really ready for Tim and Eric? I imagine Roger Ebert comparing the effective musical choices in this film to that of the work of Martin Scorsese. I reckon that Aimee Man's original song Two Horses for Billion Dollar Movie is just as powerful as Eric Clapton's Layla in Goodfellas.
The best comparison I can make to Tim and Eric is the surreal lyricism of my favorite yacht rockers Steely Dan. Why do I like a song about ice cream soda? Why do the lyrics, "Who has a friend named Melanie?" seem ridiculous, but totally poetic? Why do I find so much joy in Jeff Goldblum being called Chef Goldblum in Billion Dollar Movie?
My answer; I just get it.
Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie is currently available OnDemand and will hit select theaters on March 2nd.
Follow Chris Krapek on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ChrisKrapek