Awfully Good: Pottersville

Celebrate the holidays with the weirdest Christmas film to come out of Hollywood in a long, long time...

Pottersville (2017)

Director: Seth Henrikson
Stars: Michael Shannon, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE but with 75% more furry sex and bigfoot sightings.

Apparently, Michael Shannon, Christina Hendricks, Ian McShane, Ron Perlman, Thomas Lennon and Judy Greer all have the same agent and this agent is deeply in debt or involved in some kind of Hollywood money laundering scheme. This is the only plausible explanation for the existence of POTTERSVILLE.

General Zod awoke from the weirdest dream, one where his dead body had been merged with some rich kid's DNA in a Kryptonian bath and somehow used to create an incredibly generic monster that rampaged a city. Thank God that didn't actually happen.

Picture one of those cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies but with an A-list cast, weird sexual fetishes, and a misguided desire to be "edgy." This is POTTERSVILLE in a nutshell. And for some reason, all of the aforementioned thespians read this script and still signed on. Maybe they're all friends with first time director Seth Henrikson or maybe everyone just wanted to hang out in upstate New York for a few weeks. Perhaps the Illuminati was involved. All I know is that this will forever be one of the great "how did this get made?" stories in cinema history.

This movie has a very weird fetish.

The most bizarre piece of this puzzle has to be Michael Shannon. If you ever wanted to see the Academy Award-nominated actor and one-time General Zod get drunk and terrorize a small town in a homemade Bigfoot costume, or receive a golden shower from a peeing boy water fountain, you're in luck! Shannon is such a talented performer, however, that he somehow manages to still be pretty good in POTTERSVILLE. It takes a special kind of miracle worker to actually be able to sell a script with actual lines like: "I went out to breathe some life, and then life decided to take a poop in my face. So I ended up breathing poop instead."

Please also give Judy Greer an Oscar for saying this line without laughing or immediately setting everyone around her on fire.

Shannon stars as Maynard, the nice-guy owner of a general store in the titular small town. (Fittingly, you may recognize it as the name of the alternate-reality version of George Bailey's hometown in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, the one where everything was awful.) One day Maynard goes home early to surprise his wife for Christmas, only to find her dressed as a rabbit, engaging in some furplay with the local sheriff, who is dressed as a squirrel/wolf. And since we are living in the weirdest timeline, of course these two furries are played by Christina Hendricks and Ron Perlman. I can't begin to describe how weird it is seeing Hellboy and Joan from Mad Men howling and rubbing up on each other while wearing anthropomorphic animal costumes. Hendricks is completely wasted in her role as the unhappy housewife, but that might be preferable to Perlman, who spends most of the film loudly defending furries and correcting people on furry culture. (And considering Perlman produced the movie, it makes you wonder…)

Even Ron Perlman is surprised he's in this.

As one does after discovering your spouse is cheating on you with a squirrel, Maynard immediately gets drunk on moonshine and puts on a homemade gorilla costume. He starts to head home to give his wife some hot animal action, but instead stumbles around the town chasing bunnies and drinking pee. When he wakes up the next morning, the whole community is in a frenzy over all the reported bigfoot sightings, even though Maynard's dollar store costume is in no way convincing. Soon the media descends on Pottersville and Maynard, seeing the town excited for the first time since the local mill closed, decides to keep dressing up as sasquatch to bring everyone some cheer for the holidays.

Despite being his trademark fashion, the cast was definitely not on board with the short shorts.

So, Michael Shannon cosplaying as sasquatch—already a pretty odd Christmas movie. Then comes RENO 911 star Thomas Lennon as an Australian monster-hunting TV host determined to catch Bigfoot on-air, with help from a local hunter played by Ian McShane (doing his best Quint from JAWS impression, down to the nails-on-a -chalkboard). Lennon tries his best to be funny, but his annoying accent and reality-TV character lead to tired jokes that drag down the film's second act, including multiple songs and an odd recreation of Christian Bale's famous outburst from the TERMINATOR: SALVATION set. Though there is one worthwhile scene where the hunters stumble upon a furry party in the woods, mainly because there is much joy in seeing Al Swearengen from Deadwood yell at furries at gunpoint.

"Raise your hand if you're regretting all of this."

Eventually, Maynard gets caught and his sasquatch secret is revealed. The entire town and the media turn against him for making them look like fools. So the poor man decides to go on TV and give a heartfelt speech about what it means to be Bigfoot and believe in something, declaring that Bigfoot is alive in all of us if we have faith and hope during the holiday season. Again, Shannon is such a damn good actor that this completely ludicrous soliloquy is almost convincing. It definitely works for the townspeople, who recreate the ending of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE by donating money so they can turn the former mill in to a sasquatch museum, which somehow saves the town from financial ruin. Oh, and Maynard falls in love with his hot coworker Judy Greer, but not before double checking that she's not a member of any "furry sex club."

You know it's bad when even the extras have a hard time staying awake.

POTTERSVILLE is a bizarre beast (pun intended). Having watched it, I have no idea who this movie was made for. It's not really edgy or interesting enough for adults to enjoy. And unless you have a really strange relationship with your kids, all the weird sex stuff makes it not exactly family friendly either. So at the end of the day, that leaves only one group who may truly enjoy this film — furries.

This is a Christmas movie for furries.

Here's a furry threesome. Merry Christmas!

A collection of the most embarrassing things Michael Shannon is forced to say.

Michael Shanon and Ian McShane discover furries, Thomas Lennon poops, and much more.

Do naked furries count?

Tired of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE? Buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:
  • Michael Shannon howls
  • Michael Shannon puts on the Bigfoot costume
  • People in animal costumes rub up against each other
  • Thomas Lennon sings a song
  • Stacy Gutierrez introduces herself
Double shot if:
  • There's a reference to IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, JAWS or another famous, better movie.

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.

Extra Tidbit: Awfully Good wishes everyone a happy non-denominational celebration of the winter solstice!
Source: JoBlo.com



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