In Theatres: 
Nov 06, 2009
Running Time: 
94 min

"Splinterheads," written and directed by Brant Sersen, is a comedy starring Thomas Middleditch (Justin Frost) and Rachel Taylor (Galaxy). The premise of the movie revolves around an average twenty-something guy with not much going on in his life until his world is suddenly rocked by a carnival coming into town and with it many Splinterheads, including his new infatuation Galaxy. The term Splinterhead apparently refers to a carnival worker who mans the various games and try to sucker patrons out of as much money as they can.


The first thought that came to my mind when I heard about this movie was "Adventureland", just from the romance and carnival workers aspect. I am glad to say that the "Splinterheads" manages to keep itself mainly fresh and isn't just a clone of "Adventureland" as I thought it might be. Sadly, the second thought that came to my mind when I heard about the movie was that I hope it wasn't going to try to be like Napoleon Dynamite, which again, I'm glad to say it wasn't. So exactly what was the movie?


Well, I found the movie to be a pretty simple comedy with romantic aspects (though not technically a romance comedy). There are definitely some cute moments and some funny ones, as well as some pretty crude moments. I will come out and say right now that I didn't care much for Jason Rogel's character Wayne. I felt that the movie could've gone without his antics and been perfectly ok. The main plot of the movie was pretty predictable and maybe not the most interesting, but the movie really shines in its subplots, of which there are a decent number. The Amazing Steve (Jason Mantzoukas), oldest man alive, and the other stories that take place do well in breaking up the story into more enjoyable parts.


As for the inevitable romance between Justin and Galaxy, I felt that while we got a decent amount of backstory on Justin, I would've liked more information on Galaxy. Her character is mainly a mystery, which is part of the appeal to Justin, but that also means we don't really get to know any motivations beneath the surface. Geocaching is pretty cool, though, and I thought it was pretty awesome that they included that as a pretty major plot point in the movie.


After the screening a small panel including director, star (Middleditch), and crew took some questions. The first question I was able to ask was if there was any specific inspiration for the "Amazing Steve" subplot. Sersen responded that it was pretty much an original idea and the actors (Jason Mantzoukas and Lennon Parham) really brought out a lot of the fun with that subplot. I also asked Middleditch what it was like working with Rachel Taylor. He said one of the first scenes that they shot was the kissing scene that occurs at the end of the movie, which was fun, but overall she's a great actress and a lot of fun to work with. Overall I'd say the movie's worth checking out, though if you have some others that you want to see before, that's ok too.

Review by Christopher Luu