Jim Hosking’s oddball comedy An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn helped open the 2018 Fantastic Film Festival in Austin, Texas following the US premiere of David Gordon Green’s Halloween. Hosking’s 2016 cult-hit The Greasy Strangler surprised audiences with it’s off-the-wall sensibility and gross-out comedy. While An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn is more accessible, his follow-up still holds a unique and twisted sense of humor for audiences seeking strange and unpredictable insanity.
Seemingly distilled from a mash of Ren & Stimpy and Tim & Eric, An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn is a wild and weird love triangle unlike any romantic comedy you have ever seen. Directed by Jim Hosking and co-written by himself and David Wike, the film is Aubrey Plaza (Life After Beth), Jemaine Clement (What We Do In The Shadows), Emile Hirsch (Freaks), Craig Robinson (Tragedy Girls), and brit-fav Matt Berry (Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace).
“An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn […] holds a unique and twisted sense of humor for audiences seeking strange and unpredictable insanity.”
An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn follows a whole cast of characters whose lives circle the mysterious and magical Beverly Luff Linn (Craig Robinson) who has arrived in town to perform for “An Evening With Beverley Luff Linn; For One Magical Night Only”. Lulu (Aubrey Plaza) is recently unemployed, wasting away her days smoking and watching television. We’re unsure about the details surrounding her obsession with Beverly Luff Linn, but we do see that the two have some history together. After spotting an ad for An Evening With Beverley Luff Linn; For One Magical Night Only, Lulu’s sees an opportunity to escape her mundane life. (PS – If you’re already upset at the repetition of “An Evening With Beverley Luff Linn; For One Magical Night Only”, you are not ready for this movie)
Her husband, and former boss, Shane (Emile Hirsch) sets off a chain of events after a poorly planned robbery that bring together Lulu and unusually timid hitman Colin (Jemaine Clement) for a hilarious adventure. Surprising even herself, Lulu turns the tables on everyone and forces Colin at gunpoint to take her to see Beverley Luff Linn. From this moment we a follow as the two seek out the mysterious Beverly Luff Linn, trying desperatly to dodge his overprotective creative partner and manager Rodney Von Donkensteiger (Matt Berry).
The performances in An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn are nothing short of brilliant and with such an impressive cast, the film is as funny as it promises to be. The script asks for absolute commitment from each of it’s players and would not be as enjoyable if anyone brought less than everything they had to their roles. The characters are cartoonish and absurd, belonging to a world all their own. Emile Hirsch’s Shane Danger is, in essence, Yosemite Sam as a fast-food restaurant manager who’s chin and pelvis walk into a room before his ego has a chance to fill it. I found myself a little tired of Craig Robinson’s grunts before I stopped laughing at them, but Aubrey Plaza plays into the film’s deadpan unlike anyone else. Her Lulu feels quintessentially Hosking and perfectly at home in this offbeat universe.
Anyone turned off by the gross-out moments in Greasy Strangler will find An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn easier to swallow, but the absurdity of Hosking’s world is inescapable. As surreal and ludicrous as John Waters (Pink Flamingos), Llyod Kaufamn (The Toxic Avenger), and Quentin Dupieux (who also has his new film Keep An Eye Out at Fantastic Fest), An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn exists for you to laugh in the face of madness. Being tickled is a strange sensation because you feel attacked and yet you cannot restrain yourself from laughing hysterically. Jim Hosking’s confrontational comedy challenges you because of it’s abandonment of classic tropes and when you give yourself over to it, you will chuckle and guffaw until you feel you’ve gone pleasantly mad.
Being tickled is a strange sensation because you feel attacked and yet you cannot restrain yourself from laughing hysterically. Jim Hosking's confrontational comedy challenges you because of it's abandonment of classic tropes and when you give yourself over to it, you will chuckle and guffaw until you feel you've gone pleasantly mad.