Friend of the World (2020)

As a global war begins to burn itself out, a young filmmaker named Diane (Alexandra Slade) is trapped in a military bunker with the increasingly unhinged General Gore (Nick Young). That’s a simple explanation for this film’s plot but it gets much stranger than that sentence.

Director and writer Brian Patrick Butler has made something that lives up to its prophetic tagline: Just because you are saved, doesn’t mean you’re safe. This is neither all comedy or all horror or all political but all those things jammed into a cocktail of so many more ingredients, like body horror and the stated influences of Samuel Beckett, Jean-Paul Sartre, John Carpenter and David Cronenberg.

What starts in a bunker filled with dead bodies and ends up with the two diametrically opposed characters finally engaging in conflict, this movie gets absolutely wild and does so in a black and white look that is positively jarring and, of course, causes one to think of the Twilight Zone but here it’s a positive connection. Or propaganda films, which this movie goes out of its way to show the two sides of.

In just fifty minutes, this gets some big ideas out there and has two leads who are more than up to the task of the heavy dialogue they’ve been given. This is definitely worth watching, as is where Butler takes his career next.

You can watch Friend of the World on Troma Now and Tubi.

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