Once a month Whenever the hell he remembers to, Steve will take it upon himself to watch a random piece of shit on Netflix. This month, Steve watched the good time party film ‘Would You Rather’.
Would You Rather is one of those films that tries to take a children’s game and twist it. I’m not totally familiar with the game Would You Rather is based on, but it seems simple enough. The choices probably come down to A) Eat Boogers or B) Lick A Turd.
The film takes this and turns it into a crazy millionaire’s party game. Once a year, Shepard Lambrick (Jeffrey Combs) gathers together a group of desperate sad sacks and has them compete against each other to win enough money to take care of all of their problems. There can only be one winner, which naturally means that everyone is going to die. It’s Dinner for Schmucks where the schmucks are systematically killed off.
And oh boy, what a collection of schmucks it is! Our main protagonist is Iris (Brittany Snow), who’s in it to win it for her sick brother. To her left is Lucas (Enver Gjokaj), who is your run-of-the-mill noble handsome guy. To her right is Cal (Eddie Steeples), who I referred to through most of the film as Crabman due to his role on My Name is Earl. Across from her is Amy (Sasha Grey), who has just the type of attitude that you’d expect a former porn star acting in this sort of movie to have. How about Travis (Charlie Hofheimer), an ex-military man played by the guy who’s best known for being Abe on Mad Men. Annnnd we’ve got Conway (John Heard), and ex-alcoholic that I connected with Kevin McCallister’s dad from Home Alone. There’s also a lady in a wheelchair and a heavyset gambler, but I didn’t recognize those actors, so screw ‘em.
Rounding out the cast, we have Dr. Barden (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.), Shepard’s son Julian Lambrick (Robin Lord Taylor), and Bevans (Jonny Coyne). DeAngelo Barksdale doesn’t get to do much besides setting up Iris to join the competition and later get shot. Gotham’s Penguin is really just there to be the shithead son. Bevans, however, is a key part of the plot as Shepard’s number two and muscle. Bevans is former MI-5, now he’s acting as an evil Alfred. Can you imagine how much this guy is getting paid to assist this sadistic dick? Bevans is a true pro, as he does it all with a smile.
Rich asshole Shepard Lambrick is the highlight of the film. Jeffrey Combs has as much delight as a Batman villain as he tortures these poor saps. I love how all rich guys in movies like this and The Purge just want to use their money to kill poor people. I’m sure there’s a porn version where they just get into all sort of hijinks. This is easily the highlight of Lambrick’s year. Here’s $10,000 to eat a steak. Here’s $50,000 to throw aside a decade-plus of sobriety. Dude gives so few fucks that he’s leaving his peanut shells on Dr. Barden’s couch like it’s a goddamn Texas Roadhouse.
During the course of Would You Rather, the contestants get the joy of going through rounds of choosing to:
- Electrocute either themselves or their neighbor
- Lashing poor Travis with a sjambok or stabbing their neighbor with an ice pick
- Being drowned for two minutes or doing whatever is on the mysssssteryyyyyy caaaaard
It’s good, old-fashioned fun for the whole family. Naturally, most everyone dies during the course of this. Kevin McCallister’s dad almost drank himself to death for 50 grand, but then he tried to leave and got himself shot in the head. There’s poor, poor Travis, who got on the shithead son’s bad side and died from the pain of being whipped a whole bunch. How about wheelchair lady, who passed after being stabbed in a major thigh artery. My personal favorite? That would be the death of the gambler. He thought he had the odds all figured out. The card had to be better than getting drowned in a barrel. Then he had a tiny stick of dynamite duct-taped into his hand. Ouch.
Would You Rather surpassed my expectations. The initial over/under for minutes I would be able to endure it came in at 15. It’s fun and dumb and has Jeffrey Combs hamming it up. Shit, it’s got the Crabman and Sasha Grey, you know what you’re getting. This one gets the Netflunks seal of approval.