Miguel Llansó’s sophomore feature is a glorious cherry bomb of outsider psychotronica. Grandiose and enjoyably nutty, no recent film has managed to excite about the future of independent cinema as much as this joyous everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach to the ultimate conspiracy flick.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2020
A potpourri of kitsch art direction and surreal absurdism in a steaming crockpot of 70s martial art capers, outré science-fiction, European James Bond rip-offs, Filipino exploitation, electronic muzak, free jazz and cold war paranoia, Jesus is the hallucinatory tale of CIA Agents DT Gagano (on his last job) and Palmer Eldritch. Both are guinea pigs in a top-secret experiment where they’ll go into a coma to fight a Soviet computer virus named Stalin in a virtual reality world. If you’re wondering what that looks like, imagine jiggly live-action animated agents wearing Robert Redford and Richard Pryor cardboard masks fighting evil everywhere.
When the bad guys in the virtual world wound Gagano, he becomes stuck in his comatose state back in the lab. His wife Malin, a Teutonic specimen twice his size, is crestfallen as she’d been planning on opening a kickboxing studio pizza parlour with him following his forthcoming retirement. This bonkers Euro-mad production is one for the ages so grab some [insert choice of mind-altering substance here], a bunch of likeminded friends and get ready to witness this utter marvel of low-budget ingenuity. It may just make you love indie cinema all over again. — Ant Timpson
About the Filmmaker
Inspired by experimental-punk-weird music and films, Miguel Llansó studied philosophy and cinema before directing Crumbs (2015), a post-apocalyptic Afro-futuristic adventure set in Ethiopia. Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway is his second feature film.