A rabid Christian homophobe, a feeble parkour wannabe, a nihilistic goth, a semi-schizophrenic Irishman: these are the four contestants for a new role on The Sunflower Hour, a children's puppet show produced by pornmeister Donald (Peter New) and his embittered wife Melissa (Johannah Newmarch). This raunchy mockumentary follows the four puppeteers through humiliating auditions, tragicomic personal revelations and too many pratfalls to count as they fight to gain recognition for their art.

Aaron Houston's film is not for delicate sensibilities, to put it mildly: we're talking foul language, cruel jokes and enough sexual and personal pathology to fill five Jerry Springer episodes. If you can stand it, though, this is a barrel full of belly laughs, with superbly vivid characters and a razor-sharp satire of the entertainment industry in all its backstage hypocrisy. The contestants--all too convincingly played by four game-for-anything thespians--are superb comic creations. They're endearing and pitiable, grotesque and human, funny and sad--often all these things and more within the same scene. The portraits of family life, artistic aspiration, financial desperation and showbiz decadence ring horribly, hilariously true. Think of this movie as Canadian Idol via South Park and you're halfway there: it's a taboo-smashing, raucous belch of a movie, but not without a sense of feel-good triumph at the end.

Film Info

2 min 9 sec Duration
  • Posted: November 20, 2011
  • Director: Aaron Houston
  • Writer: Aaron Houston
  • Studio: Independent
  • Release: October 13, 2011
  • Cast: Patrick Gilmore, Ben Cotton, Amitai Marmorstein

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