Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Gregg Araki|
|Produced by||Gregg Araki
|Written by||Gregg Araki|
|Music by||Robin Guthrie
|Editing by||Gregg Araki|
|Distributed by||Sundance Selects|
|Running time||86 minutes|
Kaboom is a 2010 youth culture alternative film written and directed by Gregg Araki. The film stars Thomas Dekker, Juno Temple, Haley Bennett and James Duval. It premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the first ever Queer Palm for its contribution to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender issues.
Kaboom is a science fiction story centered on the sexual adventures of a group of college students and their investigation of a bizarre cult.
Smith is an 18-year-old film student who identifies sexually as "undeclared" with a strong sexual appetite. He has been having strange dreams. He is going to college with his best friend, Stella, whom he has known since junior high. Smith finds a note saying that he is the "chosen son". He has a roommate, Thor, whom he lusts after, regretting that Thor is straight. Stella goes to a party with Smith, but hooks up with another girl, Lorelei. He recognizes Lorelei as one of the people in his dream. Smith notices a guy, but he is distracted when a red-haired girl from his dream vomits on his shoe. The guy vanishes, but Smith gets picked up by London, a British student. They have sex, but to Smith's regret she does not want to be with him except during the sex.
Smith visits a nude beach, and meets a man named Hunter. They start to have sex, but Smith is disappointed to hear that Hunter is married. Stella discovers that Lorelei is not only unstable, but also a witch with rejection issues. Stella keeps trying to dump her, but has difficulty as the witch takes over Smith's body, and later tries to strangle her in the washroom. Stella saves herself by spraying water on the witch, causing her to burn up.
During this time, Smith continues to dream about the red-haired girl. In his dreams, they are both pursued by people wearing animal masks. Smith finds out that the girl was killed, and her head was cut off. He later meets her twin sister, who says that she was kidnapped many years ago by men wearing animal masks. He also meets the guy from the earlier party, and learns his name is Oliver. He is gay and wants to go on a date with Smith.
Smith walks in on Thor and his best friend Rex wrestling in their underwear. Though they are calling each other gay, Stella explains that only straight guys can get away with that. London seduces Rex and convinces him to have a three-way with Smith for his 19th birthday. The animal-masked people finally capture Smith, London, and Smith's mom. They are bundled into a van to be driven to meet the head of a secret cult. Smith finds out that it is his father (although he was always told that his father died when he was young).
Meanwhile, Stella, Oliver, and the perpetually stoned "Messiah" hook up to pursue the van. Oliver has powers like Lorelei's, but uses them for good. It turns out that meeting Oliver wasn't chance. He was looking for Smith to protect him. The Messiah was only acting stoned. He's also there to protect Smith. The animal-masked people turn out to be Thor, Rex, and Hunter. They must get London and Smith to a secret underground shelter to survive the explosion of dozens of nuclear bombs. Anyone not in the cult will be annihilated, and the cult will take over the world with Smith as its leader.
The Messiah tries to run the van off the road, and both vehicles scream towards a bridge that is out. Smith's father presses a button and the whole Earth explodes.
- Thomas Dekker as Smith
- Juno Temple as London
- Haley Bennett as Stella
- Roxane Mesquida as Lorelei/Laura
- Brennan Mejia as Oliver
- James Duval as The Messiah
- Kelly Lynch as Smith's mother
- Chris Zylka as Thor
- Nicole LaLiberte as Madeleine O'Hara/ Rebecca Novak
- Andy Fischer-Price as Rex
- Jason Olive as Hunter
- Carlo Mendez as Milo
- Brandy Futch as Drug Fairy Nymph
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 58% out of 88 critics gave the film a positive review. On Metacritic, the film has a 64/100 rating, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Bruce DeMara from the Toronto Star praised the film's cast and called it "Araki’s most ambitious [movie] to date, with a quick pace, music that’s hip and cool and a mood that alternates between playful and eccentric." Sam Adams from the Los Angeles Times was much more critical about it, and said it was "less a movie than a masturbatory doodle, a sloppy, shoddy regurgitation of Araki’s pet trope that tries to pass off its slipshod structure as a free-wheeling lark."
- Kaboom at Box Office Mojo
- Hernandez, Eugene (April 14, 2010). "15 Films to Watch for on the Cannes Lineup". Indie Wire. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
- Zeitchik, Steven (April 15, 2010). "Cannes 2010: Lineup reveals a heavy dose of auteurs, with a dollop of celebrity". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
- "UPDATE: "Kaboom" Claims First Queer Palm". Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- Kaboom – Rotten Tomatoes
- Kaboom – Metacritic
- Kaboom: Fuse too long, climax fizzles
- Kabbom – Movies
- Kaboom at the Internet Movie Database
- Kaboom at AllMovie
- Kaboom at Box Office Mojo
- Kaboom at Rotten Tomatoes
- Kaboom at Metacritic