Hippo Image


By Michael Talbot-Haynes | June 22, 2024

FILM MAUDIT 2.0 FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! Everyone who loved Saltburn will jump back in their arthouse for another refined dose of sperm and gothic lettering in the elegant head-splitter Hippo, the feature debut of director Mark H. Rapaport. Written by Rapaport and star Kimball Farley, the movie is filmed in black and white with narration done by Eric Roberts.

It takes place in a throwback time at the beginning of this century and is about almost 19-year-old Adam (Kimball Farley), whose nickname is Hippo. He lives in the sticks with his 17-year-old sister, Buttercup (Lilla Kizlinger), and their mother, Ethel (Eliza Roberts). Their father died when they were younger, and because they were home-schooled, they did not know anyone else except one another. Hippo is obsessed with a violent video game from 1998 that he plays incessantly on his Nintendo 64 when he isn’t humping his plush toy hippo. Buttercup was adopted from Hungary and is deep into classical music and Christ.

“…he plays incessantly on his Nintendo 64 when he isn’t humping his plush toy hippo.”

Both siblings have very hazy perceptions of the world, which Ethel does little to clarify. In her limited world, Buttercup’s unworked sexuality keeps turning towards her brother, who is wrapped up in fantasies of the apocalypse. Buttercup decides the responsible thing to do is find a man, which she does by naively searching her brother’s internet. That is how Darwin (Jesse Pimentel) gets into the picture, as he likes little girls and is willing to drive 200 miles for a night with Buttercup…

Midnight movies, like Hippo, were made to be misunderstood by the general public. That is how they attract their subversive target audience of the generally misunderstood. While they are usually lumped together in one category, these movies have their own subsets and hierarchies within their late-night kingdom. Within the various camps of camp, some pictures strive for something unusual amongst the unusual.

Hippo (2024)

Directed: Mark H. Rapaport

Written: Mark H. Rapaport, Kimball Farley

Starring: Kimball Farley, Lilla Kizlinger, Eliza Roberts, Jesse Pimentel, Eric Roberts, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Hippo Image

"…a radiant tapestry of shock and sophistication..."

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