CRUSH THE SKULL
Directed by Viet Nguyen
Nightfall Award, 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival
“One last job.” So say the thieves. Thanks to some bone-headed planning, that won’t be the last time they’ll say it in CRUSH THE SKULL. And thanks to some moronic execution by the so-called criminal professionals, it certainly won’t be a problem for the audience. As Viet Nguyen’s delectable horror-comedy proves with gag after gag, the best last job is the one that refuses to end, to the dismay of the characters, but the sheer delight of the audience.
Four thieves, each more sophomoric than the next, break into a nondescript vacation home but discover that there is no way out. The windows are bulletproof, their wireless signals are jammed, and the cellar looks suspiciously like some nutjob’s torture chamber. Ollie (Christopher Dinh) and Blair (Katie Savoy) devise plans to get out, while the self-proclaimed leader Connor (Chris Riedell) and the beefy Riley (Tim Chiou) are too afraid of ghosts and deflating their senses of self-worth to be of much help. Some last job.
As co-writers, Nguyen and Dinh nail every character tic, every comedic call-back, every unfortunate pratfall, and every batty catch-phrase with side-splitting zeal. It helps that Dinh holds down the straight-man role just long enough to give the audience heroic sanity to identify with. And then there’s Tim Chiou, somehow turning a bimbo into the comedy’s most lovable character, delivering lines so off-the-wall he seems dropped in from another film.
And yet it’s all CRUSH THE SKULL: seriously scary, wickedly off-kilter, and the funniest Asian American film in years. –Brian Hu
Co-presented by: SDSU APSA
Weldon Powers / Asian American Panorama / USA / 2015 / comedy / 5 minsThree adventurous boys find an escape from their miserable existences. Unfortunately, it’s through a crabby neighbor’s backyard.
Precedes: CRUSH THE SKULL