In 2016, writer/director Jim Hosking burst his way onto the Sundance scene with The Greasy Strangler.  His feature-film debut shocked and rocked Midnight audiences with its unique blend of grotesque imagery and gauche comedy.  It was a film that will be burned forever in the minds of the audiences that were subjected to it, and has left many people wondering where Hosking could possible go from here.

With his new film, An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn, Hosking takes his embryonic brand of comedy that he established Greasy Strangler, and expands upon it with exuberant success.   The plot of the film circles around the players in a small-time heist, and a mysterious and magical being known only as, Beverly Luff Linn (Craig Robinson).  It’s a MacGuffin-riddled narrative that ensures that the audience is never one step ahead of the story.

Unlike Hosking’s first film, Beverly Luff Linn boasts a stellar cast of accomplished actors and Sundance veterans that include the likes of Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch, Craig Robinson, and Jermaine Clement among others.  Jermaine Clement puts on one of the most hysterical performances of his career, while Aubrey Plaza proves that even when she’s pretending to be bad, she’s undeniably good.  The mix of straight-players with hyperbolized characters is a cinematic cocktail that is sure to please.

On that note, it cannot be stressed enough that like Greasy Strangler, this film is most definitely not for everyone.  Moviegoers who tend to approach every screening with grave seriousness of a funeral will undoubtedly have a rough time with this piece.  The jokes are long, the acting is intentionally screwy, and it isn’t without its fair share of lulls.  However, if you can surround yourself with the right audience, and get yourself in the right frame of mind, you might find a friend in Beverly Luff Linn.  Yes, the characters tend to be a bit over exaggerated, but deep down inside them is a little spark of humanity; a spark that is warm enough to even warm the coldest of naysayers.

Jason Kisvarday’s phenomenal production design is also one of the big highlights of this film.  Every scene in this film takes place in its own eclectic space, and Kisvarday proved himself up to the challenge at every opportunity.  He did such a good job, that viewers will find their time equally divided between watching the acting, and soaking in the marvelous set pieces.

However the one true star of this film is Hosking himself.  His idiosyncratic way of handling a story could understandably give off the impression that he could care less about what his audiences things;  au contraire, nothing could be further from the truth.  His films seem to be tailor made to evoke a response in his audience, and he almost always gets what he wants.  An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn truly is the “Schrödinger’s cat” of films; simultaneously being both the worst film you’ve ever seen, and the best film you’ve ever seen.  When you watch this film, you are not only witnessing the growth of an exceptional director, but you are also seeing the birth of an entirely new genre of comedy.

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Ty Cooper lives in Asia and spends most his time drifting through the streets of Taiwan imagining he is Shotaro Kaneda in Akira. Once a year he takes on the unyielding snow storm that is Sundance and attempts to capture a glimpse at what the upcoming year in film has to offer. Ty first started writing for HeyUGuys after SXSW in 2010.