Freaks of Nature (film)

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Freaks of Nature
Freaks of Nature Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobbie Pickering
Produced byMatthew Tolmach
Written byOren Uziel
Starring
Music byFil Eisler
CinematographyUta Briesewitz
Edited byCraig Alpert
Production
companies
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • October 30, 2015 (2015-10-30)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$33 million[1]
Box office$70,958[2]

Freaks of Nature is a 2015 American comedy horror film directed by Robbie Pickering and written by Oren Uziel. It stars Nicholas Braun, Mackenzie Davis, Josh Fadem, Joan Cusack, Bob Odenkirk, Keegan-Michael Key, Ed Westwick, Patton Oswalt, Vanessa Hudgens and Denis Leary. The film was issued in a limited release by Columbia Pictures on October 30, 2015.[3]

The film follows three high-school outcasts whose social alienation is compounded when they join rival species in a town inhabited by humans, vampires and zombies. Aliens set the species against each other, and the outcasts try to band everyone together to fight the invaders.

Plot[edit]

The town of Dillford, Ohio, is home to three species who despise each other: humans, vampires, and zombies. Vampires are the top of the food chain in both literally and in social circles and tend to be the cooler kids in town. The zombies are able to leave their ghetto with special collars that keep them compliant. The humans languish somewhere in the middle, intimidated by the vampires while seeing the zombies as second class citizens. All seem to have their own communities and rules by which they keep a tense truce.

School nerd Dag sets out to lose his virginity with Lorelei, the hottest girl in school to prove he isn't a loser. He has issues with Rick Wilson, the baseball coach and manager of the local meat factory. Rick fired all of the human employees, including Dag's mother, and replaced them with zombies as cheap labor. Rick taunts him with this as Dag practices his pitching and he chokes and ends up hitting one of the star athletes, injuring him severely.

Dag's hippy parents try to cheer him with a speech about the men in his family being late bloomers. When the euphemisms about puberty and "huge changes" make Dag uncomfortable, he stops his well meaning parents and tries to forget about the conversation.

Meanwhile, social outcast Petra is seduced and transformed into a vampire after being bitten by Milan, the high school's playboy vampire, while they are making out. Later he rejects her when she wants to make the relationship permanent, leaving her alone and now a vampire with no idea how to cope.

Dag's former best friend Ned, the brother of the athlete Dag injured, is also a social outcast at high school. He is one of the smartest people in the town but is ostracized by his sport loving father and receives only contempt from his teachers. Following an argument with his family, Ned visits the zombie ghetto and he allows a female teenage zombie to bite his leg, transforming him into a zombie so he doesn't have to think or be smart anymore.

Right as Dag is finally about to score with Lorelei, out of nowhere Aliens invade Dillford, causing residents to believe that the vampires, zombies and humans are attacking each other. This causes an all out war between the three groups that envelopes the town in a free for all of vampires vs. humans vs. zombies.

Dag and Lorelei hide in a house which is raided by a group of vampires and Lorelei is seemingly killed by Petra, who has always been jealous of her. In subsequent brawls between the factions, Dag, Ned, and Petra reluctantly join together and hide in Stuart Miller's basement, Stuart being the local doomsday nut. While sheltering from the invasion, Petra and Ned are overcome by hunger and eat Stuart and his mother.

The aliens are able to determine their location, causing them to seek cover at the high school. Ned and Dag fight about their former friendship and Dag not wanting to be a loser anymore so they stopped being friends. Ned, who is still a genius despite his non-verbal zombie status, leaves angrily. Later Petra and Dag become trapped and make out, but he flinches and Petra accuses him of being afraid of her. The aliens find them again, and Dag realizes that the aliens can only see inorganic materials, such as their synthetic clothing. The three then strip and run to Dag's house, where they change into organic cotton clothes kept by Dag's hippie mother.

Later, Dag, Petra, and Ned are captured by the aliens. They are placed with other captured residents in a warehouse, with force fields segregating the humans, vampires and zombies. Dag and Petra find that instead of dying, Lorelei has been changed into a hot vampire, which intimidates Petra. After figuring out the weakness in the forcefield keeping them apart, Dag, Ned, and Petra convince everyone to band together to fight the aliens and destroy the forcefield..

At Rick Wilson's meat factory, the chemical "Tetrafluoraxipan" is used to transform horse cartilage into a meat-like substance and is what the aliens are after. Dag convinces Rick to let the town in into the factory as the aliens arrive and submerge in the chemical, combining to grow into a single large alien. It begins to make a speech about how they just wanted to ask nicely for the chemical, but the town's irritated residents interrupt when it starts getting condescending towards them. The townsfolk attack and the alien fights back but is weakened when the others realize that the ammonia tanks used in the factory can hurt it.

Meanwhile, Milan corners Petra and attempts to kill her. He is stopped by Dag, who turns into a werewolf after almost being killed. He realizes this was the "big change" his parents were trying to talk to him about earlier. After a short brawl, Milan is accidentally killed when he lands on a wooden slab, which impales him.

As the outclassed alien is shrinking back to its mini size, it attempts to escape by spaceship while dropping a bomb to destroy the town. Ned catches the bomb, proving he's just as good as his athlete brother despite being a zombie. He gives it to Dag who pitches it into the ship before it closes its doors and the spaceship explodes, destroying the alien menace.

Everything returns to normal for the town, and Lorelei asks Dag out on a date. However, Dag chooses to be with Petra instead. Ned appears to be happier and better adjusted as a zombie, and seems to have bonded with his star athlete brother who has also become a zombie.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film entered development as "The Kitchen Sink". In March 2011, Jonah Hill was reported to be in talks to make his directorial debut with The Kitchen Sink.[4] In February 2012, Robbie Pickering was chosen as the director for the film, though Hill would stay attached to the film as one of the executive producers.[5] The film was renamed from "Kitchen Sink" to "Freaks of Nature".

Casting[edit]

In January 2013, it was reported that Nicholas Braun was in talks to join the film as well as Chris Zylka.[6] In July of that same year, it was announced Vanessa Hudgens was in talks to join the film, as well as Denis Leary.[7] On August 15, 2013, it was announced Ed Westwick was in talks to join the film.[8] On August 19, 2013, it was announced Patton Oswalt, Bob Odenkirk, and Ian Roberts, Keegan-Michael Key, and Mackenzie Davis had all joined the cast of the film.[9]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography took place in Los Angeles, California, and in Vancouver, British Columbia. Shooting began on August 15, 2013, and lasted 37 days. Shooting locations in Los Angeles included Santa Clarita, Temple City and Van Nuys High School.[10] Vancouver locations included Steveston, Metrotown Mall and A.R. Macneill Secondary School.

Release[edit]

The film was initially scheduled for release on January 9, 2015. In October 2014, Sony pushed it back to September 4, 2015.[11] On October 16, 2015, Sony announced it would have a limited release on October 30, 2015.[12]

Soundtrack[edit]

  • "My Life Is Right" by Big Star
  • "Fever Dreaming" by No Age
  • "Days" by The Drums
  • "Kill for Love" by Chromatic
  • "It's Simply Love" by The Longo Brothers
  • "On My Mind" by CharlieRED
  • "Deceive"' by Trentemøller
  • "Moments of Love" by Debbie Martin
  • "The Heat" by Jungle
  • "Jump on It" by SweatBeatz
  • "Germ-Free Adolescents" by X-Ray Spex
  • "Evil Soul" by The Young Werewolves
  • "User" by KOVAS
  • "Fall in Love Again" by Fuzzy Dora
  • "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel
  • "Born on a Saturday Night" by Mean Jeans
  • "It's Alright, It's OK" by Primal Scream

Critical reception[edit]

Tim Janson of The SciFi Movie Page gave the film 2 stars out of 5 citing, "The ideal way to watch the film would be with your hand on the fast-forward button, stopping when Key, Leary, Odenkirk, and Oswalt are on screen and skipping through when they are not."[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ FilmL.A. (June 15, 2016). "2015 Feature Film Study". Archived from the original on July 4, 2016. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  2. ^ "Freaks of Nature (2015)". Box Office Mojo. November 1, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  3. ^ Dave Trumbore (October 16, 2015). "'Freaks of Nature' Red-Band Trailer Is Horrifying in All the Wrong Ways". Collider. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  4. ^ Fleming, Mike (March 1, 2011). "Jonah Hill To Make Directing Debut On Black List Drama 'The Kitchen Sink'". Deadline Hollywood. PMC. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  5. ^ Fleming, Mike (February 7, 2012). "Robbie Pickering To Direct 'The Kitchen Sink' At Sony Pics". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  6. ^ Sneider, Jeff (January 20, 2013). "Davis, Braun in talks for 'Kitchen Sink'". Variety. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  7. ^ Sneider, Jeff (July 30, 2013). "Vanessa Hudgens in Talks for Sony's 'Kitchen Sink,' Denis Leary Set (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  8. ^ Sneider, Jeff (August 15, 2013). "'Gossip Girl' Alum Ed Westwick in Negotiations to Star in Sony's 'Kitchen Sink' (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  9. ^ "Patton Oswalt, Bob Odenkirk And Ian Roberts Join Genre Mash-Up 'Kitchen Sink'". Deadline Hollywood. PMC. August 19, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  10. ^ Verrier, Richard (August 21, 2013). "'The Kitchen Sink' is among movies filming around L.A." Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  11. ^ Barton, Steve (October 2, 2014). "Sony Moves its Kitchen Sink to Late 2015". Dread Central. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  12. ^ Trumbore, Dave (October 16, 2015). "'Freaks of Nature' Red-Band Trailer Is Horrifying in All the Wrong Ways". Collider.com. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  13. ^ Tim Janson (February 29, 2016). "'Freaks of Nature Blu-Ray Review': SciFi Movie Page review". Retrieved February 29, 2016.

External links[edit]