Fantaspoa 2022 Review: HOLY SHIT!
Frank wakes up in a portable toilet. Worse, it’s become clear that he’s trapped inside it. Even worse, he can hear a ceremony outside, counting down to the demolition of the work site he was an architect for. How is that worse? Is he going to miss the party? Oh, he’s very much in attendance; the loo is lying at the bottom of the demolition site.
That’s the set up for Lukas Rinker’s debut feature film Holy Shit!, a fantastically put together, fast paced and very entertaining action comedy thriller. With a deadline of less than half an hour looming Frank has to escape - it’s not as easy as kicking out the door - but also has to figure out why he’s trapped in a loo at the bottom of the demolition site in the first palace.
Together with his cinematographer Knut Adass he makes an excellent use of this small space, using tracking shots, zooms, point of view shots - everything in the Cameraman’s Guide to Making Things Look Awesome (not a real book) to make stuck in a loo look as dynamic as possible. It is also an excellent example of using a (mostly) single location. Even when Frank can see what’s happening outside the loo the perspective is always from inside it.
Despite being stuck in a portable toilet the gross out factor comes early for expected gag reactions then is kept to a minimum afterwards. The cringe comes from the harm Frank has already suffered and will do to himself as he tries to escape. It’s just entertaining as hell as we discover the “will he, won’t he survive” and “what could possibly happen next?” situations that Rinker has dreamt up. It’s all very outrageous and absurd.
If you need a reference as to what kind of film to expect, think of Holy Shit! as a worthy successor to Ping Lumpraploeng’s outrageous horror flick, The Pool. It’s of that same ilk but with a lighter approach. It at least belongs in the same pantheon of sub genres. What do we call it? The ‘How Could It Possibly Get Worse' genre? The ‘You Won’t Believe What Happened Next’ genre?
Our emotional investment in this story comes through in Frank’s relationship with his girlfriend Marie. As Frank puts the pieces of the puzzle together as his memory comes back to him he also remembers that his relationship with Marie is not okay. The urgency of the situation heightens with her involvement.
The horror is awesome, with scenes of body harm that will make you clench your teeth until your eyes pop out or burst out laughing. The final moments of Holy Shit! are a cherry on top, a crescendo of absurdity and violence as the deadline nears.
From its opening moments Rinker’s Holy Shit! has his hooks set into us. The trap has been set and now we need to know from one preposterous moment to the next how Frank will manage to escape. It all comes together in doses of absurd comedy, legit horror and toilet humor, both literal and figurative.
Very much worth seeking out.