Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Drunk Bus’ on VOD, a Ramshackle Charmer of a Coarse Faculty Comedy

Now on VOD, Drunk Bus has all of the stuff of a sleeper hit: Ozark’s Charlie Tahan taking part in a sad-sack bus driver, a possible breakout star in Austin body-mod character Pineapple Tangaroa (whose function within the film impressed a tangy, collectible Mondo poster), Moonrise Kingdom’s Kara Hayward in a supporting function and a gap title card for the ages, “Impressed by actual shit.” (So it’s not technically a BOATS film — Based mostly On A True Story, in case you’re not hip — and that’s simply wonderful, simply wonderful I say.) In a simply world, John Carlucci and Brandon LaGanke’s directorial debut would win over a big swath of viewers; right here’s why it’s a winner, and price your 5 bucks.


The Gist: February. Kent, Ohio. A university city. The Emoticon Period — 2006. Distress: Michael (Tahan) fires up the bus, does a security examine, gingerly plucks a pair of leopard pores and skin panties from the ground and tosses it out the door. His boss squawks over the CB radio, “affectionately” calling Michael F—chop. CAMPUS LOOP, reads the digital signal over the windshield, and that’s Michael’s life. Previous the identical Christmas lights that haven’t been taken down but, previous the perennially misspelled restaurant signal (“roast beaf,” “quesodila”), previous the frat home the place the fratboys splat the windshield with meatball subs and such, previous F— You Bob (Martin Pfefferkorn), the previous man within the motorized chair Michael watches out for, and F— You Bob yelling “F— you” is his reward. Passengers chug 40s and present their ass and Michael picks them up at dorms and drops them off at bars and picks them up at bars and drops them off at dorms and it’s clear he’s the one individual on this automobile not having enjoyable — after which gags as he cleans up after the blasted-drunk woman who blew doodoo all around the aisle.

Spherical and spherical he goes. It’s a metaphor, see, for Michael’s life. He graduated and was a fairly respectable photographer-artist however when Amy (Sarah Mezzanotte) dumped him after 5 years collectively — with no intercourse as a result of God was at all times watching, it’s possible you’ll pause to moan woefully for him right here — he carved a rotten little rut for himself that’s been getting deeper for a lot of months now. He has a pair associates in Kat (Hayward) and Justin (Tonatiuh), however they don’t appear to hang around besides when Michael’s busing them round. His roommate (Zach Cherry) is a doofus who’s a registered intercourse offender as a result of he received busted peeing in a Chuck E. Cheese parking zone. Michael drives all night time and goes to mattress and will get up within the afternoon and masturbates to pics of Amy on his Razr flip telephone and is up for a Security Award at work for 4 years with out an incident, an accolade that carries with it the reward of a $25,000/yr full-time job. Then Amy texts and says she’s going to be on the town and they need to get collectively, and Michael, as regular, waffles greater than the Eggo manufacturing facility. He varieties out response after response and deletes all of them.

One night time, Michael tries to settle the unruly crapheads on the bus and will get popped within the face for his efforts — the type of crap that matches properly into our expensive melancholy bus driver’s cycle of self-hatred. So the boss hires safety for him within the type of Pineapple (Tangaroa), a burly Samoan fella decked out with face tats, loopy ear gauges and punk-rock studs and leather-based. Pineapple can discuss to anyone and is filled with goofy knowledge and provides good headbutting classes, all of which Michael kinda wants. Michael’s routine is hereby upset by an enormous character who conjures up him to loosen up and dwell within the second — smoke some weed, set off some large loud fireworks through the wee hours, combat again towards the a-holes for a change, perhaps have a sexual mishap that’s like American Pie meets The Exorcist. , stuff like that.

Photograph: Everett Assortment

What Motion pictures Will It Remind You Of?: Drunk Bus is a post-Apatow comedy wrapping in parts of Pineapple Express, Neighbors (the 2014 one, not the Aykroyd/Belushi 1981 misplaced masterpiece), Old School and such raunchinesses, with slightly little bit of neo-emo feelsies from the likes of Superbad and Booksmart.

Efficiency Value Watching: Tangaroa disrupts the standard tropes with a wise-weirdo characterization that reveals slightly mysterious depth of soul beneath the floor wackiness. He brings vitality to the film with out resorting to crazy caricature or OTT overtures.

Memorable Dialogue: Kat sums up Pineapple’s de-escalation methods: “He’s just like the bro whisperer!”

Pineapple’s knowledge, utilized to the subject of intercourse: “F—in’s necessary!”

Intercourse and Pores and skin: Did I point out the American Pie meets The Exorcist scene? Sure? Nicely, you’ve been warned.

Our Take: Drunk Bus is an enormous slice of pepperoni pizza with a splash of pepper flakes on it — consolation meals with simply sufficient spice to make it fascinating. The Michael character is from a protracted line of film depresso-crybabies who must be grabbed by the lapels and throttled from their sleepy not-really-lives, and we sympathize with him within the generic manner we do with anybody who isn’t notably charismatic however has the potential to be greater than only a sack of crap. Correctly, scripter Chris Molinaro surrounds the bland-by-design protagonist with characters who’re humorous and genuine, with the underrated Hayward (go watch To the Stars, stat!), Dave Hill as a sloppy weed vendor generally known as Devo Ted (Devo as in “Whip It”) and the bigger-than-life Tangaroa including shade to the barf-beige tones of Michael’s existence.

With its bursts of classically crass school humor, no person will mistake Drunk Bus for a masterpiece, nevertheless it’s smarter than your common mainstream yuckfest and humorous with out being hyperbolic. It peels again a layer of two from the onions of its characters, and strums simply sufficient heartfelt tonal chords to make us care about any bruised hearts or fractured friendships which will happen as Michael tries to drag his boots from the mud. I laughed and I gave a crap, which doesn’t at all times occur in motion pictures about post-grad go-nowheres who drink lots and don’t know themselves.

Our Name: STREAM IT. Drunk Bus is charming in its personal ramshackle manner, and often humorous. It’s a step to the left of the standard comedy stuff. Pair with the same tones of latest coming-of-age dram-com North Hollywood and revel in.

John Serba is a contract author and movie critic based mostly in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Learn extra of his work at or comply with him on Twitter: @johnserba.

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