Bad Fever

Dustin Guy Defa's "Bad Fever" takes mumblecore to its reductio ad absurdum, featuring a hero whose utterances border on the unintelligible.

With: Kentucker Audley, Eleonore Hendricks, Annette Wright, Allison Baar.

Dustin Guy Defa’s “Bad Fever” takes mumblecore to its reductio ad absurdum, featuring a hero whose utterances border on the unintelligible. Auditioning to become, of all things, a standup comic, with an oft-rehearsed monologue as painfully pathetic as it is unfunny, Eddie (Kentucker Audley) confides to his audience that his life is “probably not as great as you imagine it.” Minimalist character study builds a curious empathy with this loser as it follows him through St. Louis’ deserted backstreets, his loneliness exacerbated by brief encounters with a low-rent femme fatale. Pic opens Friday at Brooklyn’s ReRun Gastropub.

Inarticulate Eddie works sporadically on a tree-maintenance crew, living with his dour mom, the only woman in his life until a callous young drifter named Irene (Eleonore Hendricks) hits him up for cigarettes outside a gas station. Quickly imagining her his girlfriend, Eddie is soon unwillingly starring in crude videos she shoots for “a guy in Idaho” involving vaguely humiliating, sexual acts of indeterminate interest to anyone. Audley, a helmer in his own right, somehow infuses Eddie with a compelling presence that exerts an offbeat authenticity.

Popular on Variety

Bad Fever

Production: A Factory 25 release. Produced by Dustin Guy Defa. Executive producers, Melinda McIlwain, Rick Hubbard, Judi Stauffer, Richard Nelson, Toni Nelson. Co-producers, David Fetzer, Keha McIlwaine. Directed by Dustin Guy Defa. Written by Defa.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Mike Gioulakis; editor, David Lowery; art directors/costume designers, Moey Nelson, Allison Baar. Reviewed on DVD, New York, Jan. 30, 2012. (In 2011 SXSW Film Festival.) Running time: 77 MIN.

Cast: With: Kentucker Audley, Eleonore Hendricks, Annette Wright, Allison Baar.

More Scene

  • Cara Delevingne'Carnival Row' TV show premiere,

    Cara Delevingne Talks Immigration, Taylor Swift's Battle With Scooter Braun

    Cara Delevingne, whose faerie character in “Carnival Row” finds herself washed ashore as a refugee in a foreign land, said she was immediately drawn by the show’s fantastical take on issues of immigration and assimilation. “It’s a cause that I have been involved in for a long time,” Delevingne told Variety at the premiere of [...]

  • John Travolta, Fred Durst. John Travolta,

    John Travolta Recalls Fans Breaking Into His House: 'I Was Scared the First Time'

    Nobody can accuse John Travolta of not being gracious to his fans, whether it’s an autograph, a selfie or, you know, a home invasion or two. “I’ve only had two people that actually invaded my house,” Travolta told Variety at the premiere of “The Fanatic” at the Egyptian Theater on Thursday night. “They were just [...]

  • Sublime Primetime

    How Emmy-Nominated Writers’ Rooms Keep Politics in Mind

    In a world filled with elections, social movements and national tragedies, how open should the doors of a writers’ room actually be? For some of this year’s Emmy-nominated shows, those doors are wide open. Before the 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards air on Sept. 22, the Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild Foundation, [...]

  • 50 Cent Power S6 Premiere

    50 Cent, Snoop Dogg & Trey Songz 'Power' Up New York City for Massive Season 6 Premiere

    “Power” is entering its final season, but you would never know if you walked by Madison Square Garden in Manhattan on Tuesday night. Starz pulled out all the stops for its ratings powerhouse “Power,” throwing a massive premiere event, complete with a full-length concert at Madison Square Garden from Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and a [...]

  • Diane Warren'Late Night' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Songs of Hope to Honor Diane Warren, Marc Shaiman, Boi-1da, More at 15th Annual Event

    Cancer research and treatment center City of Hope today announced the initial lineup of presenters and honorees who will celebrate the song and songwriter at its 15th annual Songs of Hope event. Among the music and entertainment industry VIPs in attendance will be veteran executive and producer Clive Davis, producer Boi-1da (Drake, Kendrick Lamar), award-winning [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content