You’re probably a lot like me thinking you’d come up with some bat shit crazy ideas if a production company were to come to you and say, “We’ll finance your movie, no matter how outrageous, no questions asked.” Without constraints, maybe you’d throw in a scene involving an older woman jamming anal beads up a guy’s rectum. Maybe you’d capture a desperate man lying in a bathtub getting shit on by a group of kids with explosive diarrhea. And, hell, maybe to give your flick legitimacy you’d ask Zach Galifianakis, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly to take on some obscure cameos. Unfortunately for you, you troubled bastard, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim have beaten you to the punch with their brain fart, Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie.
In this — what is basically an elongated skit from their cult friendly Cartoon Network show “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” — the man-children set off to resurrect the S’wallow Valley Shopping Mall & Pizza Court from what appears to be a post-apocalyptic ruin (save for the fact there’s been no apocalypse) under the premise that they’ll be paid $1 billion dollars to do so. Hot on their trail after beating and torturing Tim and Eric’s elderly mothers to find their whereabouts, is Tommy Schlaaang (Robert Loggia) and Earle Swinton (William Atherton), angel investors who financed Tim and Eric’s less than spectacular $1 billion dollar movie project and want their ill-gotten cash back .
If the premise of Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie sounds asinine, you’d be right, and it’s just as asinine and, in many instances, even more disturbing to watch. During the rehab, the duo rebrands themselves as Dobis P.R. (with a cool logo and animated PowerPoint presentations) and befriends the mall Quasimodo-like janitor Taquito (Reilly). Deeper down the ever darkening rabbit hole that is their imagination, Tim, in a pedophilic sort of way, forcefully adopts the son of a shop owner (Matt O’Toole) who sells used toilet paper and Eric falls obsessively in love with Katie (Twink Caplan), the woman who runs a kiosk selling balloon animals. The aforementioned gross out scenes at the beginning of the review — and a few other “tasty” morsels — worm their way into this convoluted tale of redemption and friendship somewheres around here too. One or two of them induce a laugh; most induce cringes or those “what the fuck?” looks your mom gave you when she caught you masturbating into a sock.
If the movie has anything going for it, it’s that clearly everyone involved went all in. And of them, John C. Reilly, deserves a pat on the back for having so much fun delivering the selfless, sickly Taquito. When he’s on screen, it’s nearly impossible to not laugh at his squirrelly, filthy, ridiculousness. Robert Loggia too, looks to be having the time of his life in the shoes of the utterly despicable CEO of the Schlaaang Corporation. Will Forte as another of the film’s antagonists, on the other hand, way, way overdoes the profanity shouting sword salesman role he elected to play.
But, I suspect, going totally overboard was the mantra chanted during principle shooting (which couldn’t have lasted more than a few days). To expect something other than this malignancy would mean Tim and Eric were trying to deliver something against their fiber (and quite probably out of their ability) that would have surely alienated their die-hard fans. Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie is wholly about pushing the boundary of decency — and either you subscribe to this brand of humor or you don’t. Mr. Heidecker and Mr. Wareheim could care less if you’re one of the latter (and quite possibly if you’re one of the former too).