A while back we gave you the heads up that The Bad Batch, Ana Lily Amirpour’s followup to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, would be part of the Rooftop Films Summer Series. That free screening is on Wednesday at House of Vans in Greenpoint, but you’re probably going to have to wait in line to snag a spot. If you’d rather lock down a seat right now, Amirpour will also be taking questions after a screening at Alamo Drafthouse on Friday. And trust, you’ll want her there, because she’s going to have a lot to explain.
The Bad Batch is kinda Mad Max meets The Holy Mountain. It’s set in a dystopian future that’s a step beyond Handmaid’s Tale. As in, Arlen (played by model-actress Suki Waterhouse) probably wishes she was a citizen of Gilead when she’s exiled in a lawless desert borderland and forced to fend for herself against a community of nihilists who chase her down in a golf cart like Donald Trump on bath salts. Trigger warning/spoiler alert: Cannibalism ensues.
Limbs are devoured in a way that must’ve given the foley artist something to sink their teeth into. But Arlen manages to get unchained before The Bad Batch can become a mere torture-porn flick. As things take a turn for the Tarantino, an acid-tinged Western unfolds. Imagine the grotesque characters and hellscapes of a Die Antwoord video and you begin to get a sense of the mise en scène. Arlen seeks revenge, steals a kid, and eventually finds a community of proto-hippie ravers who party around a giant light-up boom box/DJ booth that bears a striking resemblance to the BangOn! one. At the helm of this community is a cult leader who looks like Andy Kaufman’s Tony Clifton alterego but is actually Keanu Reeves with a porn stache.
Clearly, there’s a lot going on here, and we haven’t even gotten into the Miami Man (Jason Mamoa), a stoic, machete-toting type who rarely opens his mouth—unless it’s to eat human flesh. If we’re to believe him, he was just trying to live an honest life as a Cuban immigrant before the government cast him into this particular circle of hell. So, feel free to ask Amirpour how she feels about Trump’s immigration policies when she appears at the 9pm screening on Friday, June 23.