Morbidly Beautiful

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“Relaxer” is one of the best indie films in years — deeply disturbing and one hell of a roller coaster ride, with an ending that will blow you away.

Relaxer is a 2018 comedy fantasy film, written and directed by Joel Potrykus. It stars David Dastmalchian, Andre Hyland, Adina Howard, Amari Cheatom, and Joshua Burge as Abbie. With the menacing, impending Y2K catastrophe rapidly approaching, Abbie (Burge) is tasked by his older brother to complete the challenge of conquering the infamous level 256 on Pac-Man, without leaving the couch.

Although it’s categorized as a comedy fantasy, Relaxer plays more as a horror film.

Relaxer is an ingenious odyssey of tolerance and psychological endurance. It’s a deranged expression of pop culture and a grisly insight into the heart of the current technological obsession — a gripping glimpse of a generation who’d rather waste away in front of screen, instead of living their life to the fullest.

The film is visually striking, offering a repulsive and decrepit set that will cause you to cringe at the site of it. The special effects are extremely well fabricated and perfectly frame the decay of time and sanity. The writing and directing are exceedingly intellectual. The ability to retain your attention even though it takes place in a small, virtually claustrophobic location, really showcases the talents of the filmmaker and everyone involved.

Relaxer is an amazingly gorgeous film, contrary to the filthy and strewn appearance.

Burge’s award-worthy portrayal as the awkward and immensely intriguing Abbie, is what really sells the film. He does an amazing job of keeping you completely vested in the story, despite his characters limited capabilities. However, the sound and music is what provides the unexpected intensity that’s apparent throughout. It adds an extra level of despair and anguish that’s extremely unnerving. Also, the playful yet gross abuse of fluids, is enough to cause you to lose their lunch.

Joel Potrykus’s film is an absolutely brilliant and invigorating look at the deterioration of society. It’s a dark and bleak insight into the sadistic curiosity of human nature. This cold-blooded assault on the nerves, and an all out war on the senses, will stick in your head and won’t let go.

A nightmarish pop culture masterpiece, this is a remarkably unique film that’s definitely in a league all its own. 

Overall, RELAXER is grimy and disgusting. It’s one of the best films to come out in years. It’s an emotionally induced campaign against society and human survival. It’s savage and severely twisted, like a nineties acid trip. It’ll chew you up and spit you out. So, if you’ve got the stomach for it, give this ruthless, merciless film a go. It’ll blow your mind.

 Joel Potrykus’ RELAXER hits cinemas this Friday, March 22nd, and opens in NYC on March 29th.

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