WHAT THE F**K

PrintE-mail Written by Martin Unsworth

Made in 2008, and never released subtitled before, Tom Six’s pre-Centipede film I Love Dries (renamed for this release with a title that will be on everyone’s lips) was actually his third feature. And while it may not possess the gross-out gore of the trilogy that made him (in)famous the world over, WTF has its own disgusting level of charm to endear it to his loyal fanbase. And is also off-the-chart crazy enough to actually find the cult audience it deserves in its own right.

Chart-topping singer Dries (who plays himself) is a poster boy for the older fans, his shows attract the sort of adoring female attention that many singers would love. Unfortunately, after one show he is abducted by a burly, unkempt man, Freek, (René de Wit) and taken to his caravan home in the middle of nowhere. When he awakes, he’s repelled by the sight of Freek and his partner Teuntje (Rikkie de Wit). Scruffy, slovenly, obese, and completely repulsive, they make a fuss of Dries and are clearly big fans. Initially, he thinks his kidnapping is a prank - and he looks around for the hidden cameras and shouts for the host to come out and make this grotesque nightmare finish.
But this is no prank, no set-up. The loved-up couple needs Dries for one important thing. They’re not after blackmailing the singer; oh no, they want his baby. Freek is infertile following a *ahem* freak accident involving a gardening rake and Teuntje is desperate for a child. So their plan is to keep Dries locked away until he agrees (and follows through) to impregnate the hideous woman.

Although some directors would have been handled as a straight-out riotous comedy, Six instead presents a dark, slightly satirical and wonderfully humorous drama. The filmmaker uses his own outlandish script and sculpts a sickening and nightmarish scenario in which there are no particularly nice characters, yet we still feel some empathy for them. It’s hard not to feel sorry for the childless couple, who clearly are happy in their filthy lifestyle choice and are perfectly suited. Dries himself, while coming across as egotistical, clearly is a good sport and plays up his character wonderfully, but also managing some genuine moments of pathos and comic timing.

As a film on its own terms - taking away what we know and love about Mr Six - What the F**K works wonderfully as a gross-out World Cinema comedy, something you’d stumble upon in the middle of the night on Channel Four and be amused by. The stylised look (or de-stylised, as it’s got the look of aged 16mm film) may be too much for some but certainly adds to the grimy tone. Fans of the Centipede series may be disappointed that there’s no gore or real nastiness, but the grotesque characters and outrageous situations will more than keep them entertained.

WHAT THE F**K / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: TOM SIX / STARRING: DRIES ROELVINK, RENÉ DE WIT, RIKKIE DE WIT / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (DIRECT FROM TOM SIX)

 


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