Review: SOFT MATTER (2018)
Distributor Wild Eye Releasing describes SOFT MATTER as “THE SHAPE OF WATER meets GET OUT”. That certainly caught my attention. It does indeed have a two-legged fish creature, but if you’re expecting any serious commentary on race relations, forget it. The closest it comes is having two black leads.
However, if you’re looking for a surreal film that mixes street art, art installations, mad scientists, reanimated mad scientists, fish deities, immortality, animation, mutations, dance numbers, ghosts and a dead turtle then SOFT MATTER is just what you want. Even if that’s not what you’re looking for, SOFT MATTER may be just what you want.
Haircut (Devyn Placide, Solomon’s Dilemma, Axe Murdering with Hackley) is a graffiti artist, Kish (Ruby Lee Dove II, Harvested 2, The Foreign Exchange Student) who “knows some people in the art scene” decides he could be the next big thing. And where better to show his ghost obsessed work off than an abandoned and reputedly haunted hospital?
However, it isn’t abandoned, there’s some very unbalanced doctors Kriegspiel (Mary Anzalone, The Grid: Zombie Outlet Maul, Smoke and Mirrors) and Grist (Hal Schneider, Jackrabbit, The Teleported Man) trying to discover the secrets of immortality. That research has produced some very odd results and pissed off a sea goddess, (Mykal Monroe, Returning to Ananda, Heaux & Tell) who is currently manifesting in a mop bucket…
Running just over seventy minutes, SOFT MATTER is packed with craziness. Indeed, it almost never stops throwing things at the viewer. This is writer/director Jim Hickcox’s first feature after several shorts. This may explain why he can pack so much into its running time. And with titles like DIVINE URINE, I get the idea being outrageous isn’t new to him either.
Whatever the reason, though, the film works where it really shouldn’t. Rather than turn into a pile of disjointed segments, its manic energy keeps it rolling through all the WTF moments as you wonder what’s going to happen next.
As long as you go into it knowing that it’s not even remotely serious, SOFT MATTER will be a goofy good time. And that’s where the advertising becomes a problem. Because while nothing could really prepare you for this, it will certainly have people expecting a very different film.
SOFT MATTER premiers on VOD 5/22 from Wild Eye Releasing.