– By Sooz Webb
I’ve never had a Sloppy Joe. There, I said it! Not for any particular reason. I’m not a militant vegetarian, there’s a restaurant in town named after the beef-in-bun goodness and yet, not a morsel of its All American flavour has passed my lips. Maybe it’s because I’m British? What I do know is that they sound delicious. But more importantly, that I never ever want to turn into one. ‘What are you talking about love??’ I hear you cry! Well, that’s exactly what happens to our protagonist, in spoof-tastic gourmet goofiness Inhumanwich.
Written and directed by David Cornelius, Inhumanwich follows the journey of Joe Neumann: Champion. Pioneer. Model citizen. A man so pure, he wouldn’t let Tom Hanks molest his wife for less than 150 bucks! He’s so confident in his abilities as an astronaut, that he decides to take a lil’ lunch break, mid-flight, during his ascent into the unknown reaches of the cosmos. Hey, when your tummy’s a-grumblin’, you have to answer the call. And like a true hero he does. Joe’s wife makes one hell of a slushburger, and as the space cadet scarfs away at his delicious noms, he inadvertently collides with a radioactive meteor shower. Slowly combining in a preheated lunar module until aggressive to the touch, Joe is transformed into a gelatinous, mushy meat monster with an insatiable appetite.
A pastiche of Sci-Fi B-movies from the 1950’s and 60’s, Inhumanwich contains all the traditional trademarks from your cheesey black and white favourites. From the so-bad-it’s-good special effects and era-defining levels of sexism, to the way the poor astronaut’s wife regurgitates information that’s just been spoon fed to her. All the tropes are recreated and sent up in a way that doesn’t mock, but expresses a love for the genre. The cast embrace the lunacy of the premise, playing up to the camera and responding to situations with a knowing wink and hammy aplomb. There’s a Zucker-esque level of incompetency running throughout the characters, with Squadron Leader saluting a picture of Tom Selleck (who doesn’t) instead of the President, and the chief scientist being able to identify a species of monster with just the lick of a tongue. He’s aided by his trusty, well…aid, who has his legs sucked off (oo-err), and this just sets up an unrelenting barrage of hokey jokes about the fact that he’s legless. Geddit? Legless? Because he lost his legs!!! Yeah, that’s about the level of humor that we’re talking about, but the absolute godawfulness is intentional, and makes the movie all the more hilarious!
Cleverly utilizing the cinema-on-a-shoestring aesthetic of films from yesteryear works incredibly in the favour for a film with a micro budget. And even though the creature effects look entirely practical/created for tuppence ha’penny, there’s actually a team of digital wizes you can thank for bringing a moving meaty mound to life. The use of monochromatic cinematography lends its shadows to enhance the stories bizarre creepiness, as well as evoke a particular epoch of movie history.
Deliciously satisfying and full of old school flavour, Inhumanwich is jam-packed with hilarious horseplay and is to be entirely savoured with each viewing. Binge and enjoy a guilt-free pleasure that won’t leave you feeling bloated.