Peter LeSeurdmin (Drew Current) is fed up with his dead-end job, especially since his fellow employees continue to mispronounce his name as Lizardman. After one particularly frustrating day, he goes to the bar with his friend Becker (Garrett Kelly). He went meaning only to have one beer and blow off some steam before meeting up with his significant other Nicole (Rasheeda Moore) and her parents for dinner. However, he has way more than one and shows up to the restaurant very inebriated.
The next morning, Peter wakes up with a terrible hangover and a mostly empty apartment. Nicole left him and took everything but the beat-up couch he was sleeping, a few other small odds and ends, as well as a lizard costume from a few Halloweens ago. Peter dons the costume heads to the bar to drown his sorrows. There, he tries ReptiAle, alcohol with lizard venom infused in it. Now, Peter believes he is turning into an actual lizardman and even thwarts a few bad guys with his newfound “lizard powers.” Now the cops are after Peter, as he is a prime suspect in the butchering of several prostitutes. As if that isn’t bad enough, hitmen and thugs are trying to kill him. Who wants Peter dead? Does ReptiAle actual give him powers or has he finally broke from reality?
“…he tries ReptiAle, alcohol with lizard venom infused in it. Now, Peter believes he is turning into an actual lizardman…”
LeSeurdmin is written, directed, produced, and edited by Nicholas de Fina and is clearly a labor of love. The creator also does several voices of minor characters throughout and is one of the primary animators of the film. The other chief animator is Sam Pink, who scores the movie and does the voice of the main antagonist, The Grillmaster, as well as Chives, one of the thugs/the Grillmaster’s adopted child. While the animation is basic, appearing as really high-end flash animation (note- I am not saying this is Flash animation exactly, just reminiscent of that style), it works. The colors are bold and visually appealing. The character movements are smooth, and the numerous action scenes are fun and easy to follow.
The script is the real star of the show, and it aims to offend everyone in the best possible way. Its presentation of office work and the hatred thereof is nothing new, but Peter’s daydream of blowing up his boss’s office and punching the brains out of everyone else is hilarious. Another fun bit is when Peter is trying to buy more ReptiAle. While grabbing a six-pack, a man attempts to rob the convenience store. Peter’s inner monologue about if he should intervene and the pursuing foot chase involving a police officer after he does is a riot. How Peter’s nihilistic, bitter attitude becomes an asset for him reaching his end goals is a clever reversal of the “with great power, comes great responsibility” platitude.
“The duality at play, with Peter’s constant attempts at being presentable to society versus his true, more profane and violent urges…”
For me, the best moments are when Peter’s reflections talk back to him. These hallucinations take the form of a full-on lizard egging Peter to give in to his base instincts. The duality at play, with Peter’s constant attempts at being presentable to society versus his true, more profane and violent urges (thus Nicole breaks up with him), wrings a good deal of pathos out of the laugh-a-minute affair.
Notably, the ending hits the right bittersweet tone for a conclusion that does not cop out, makes total sense given everything else that has happened, and manages to make one reflect on their internal anger.
LeSeurdmin is crass and aims to offend often, so it is not for everyone. However, it offers a lot of laughs, a few poignant moments of profundity, and an interesting twist on superhero tales.
LeSeurdmin (2019) Directed by Nicholas de Fina. Written by Nicholas de Fina. Starring Drew Current, Rasheeda Moore, Garrett Kelly, Sam Pink, Austin Campion, Nicholas de Fina.
9 out of 10 ReptiAles