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Written and Directed by: Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

Starring: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, John C. Reilly, Will Forte, Twink Caplan, Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis

I have a pretty weird relationship with Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, though I suspect I’m not alone. On the one hand, I believe them to be one of the cleverest, most insightful comedy duos of all time who are creating some of the most original comedy around. On the other hand, they work almost exclusively in an aesthetic which they have described as the nightmare version of television which I find nearly impossible to watch. Utilizing the awkwardness and gaudy cheapness of public access television and audio/visual glitches, they create bizarre, surreal sketches, fake commercials and weird music videos, all of which make me physically uncomfortable to the point of panic. It amazes me to no end that these two have managed to construct between them such a weirdly specific sense of humour, and that they’re even able to communicate their ideas to each other. Even more amazing is how smart their comedy is; in the tradition of Monty Python, Kids in the Hall and Mr. Show, Tim and Eric utilize the bizarre and the surreal to create sharp social commetary and deeply perceptive comedy. With Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie the two abandon their usual 10-15 minute episodic TV format for a feature length effort, and smartly they’ve made their film slightly more linear than their TV shows ever have been.
The premise is that Tim and Eric were given a billion dollars by the Schlaaang Corporation to make a film, and they squandered the money on makeovers and a lavish lifestyle, only to produce a senseless three minute film starring a Johnny Depp impersonator. The CEOs of Schlaaang threaten Tim and Eric, so the duo skip town with hopes of making back the billion dollars by taking over the abandoned S’Wallow Valley Mall from owner Damien Weebs (Will Ferrell). The S’Wallow Valley Mall is inhabited by vagrants and a wolf, as well as the disgusting, sickly Taquito (John C. Reilly) who acts as a tour guide of the mall’s assortment of bizarre shops. Intercut throughout are Tim and Eric’s signature crappy aesthetic and weird glitchy digressions. From the lavish Hollywood lifestyle at the film’s start to the ghosttown mall that prominantly features the Church (or cult) of Shrim, this all amounts to a disturbing and hilarious indictment of American consumer culture. B$M is full of great cameos from a host of Tim and Eric usuals, including Zach Galifianakis, Ray Wise, Will Forte and Jeff Goldblum (brilliantly cast in the role of Chef Goldblum), all of whom seem drawn to Tim and Eric’s delightful madness. The film is not quite the taxing ordeal that watching the show is, but still it’s full of inspired lunacy.

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