In Max’s world, Russian gangsters think he knows too much and decide to silence him forever, causing him to flee into the world of his script, with Sly. The characters name-check Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises as an influence, which gives the Russians a chilling menace they would not otherwise have.
Despite the chaos, late introduction (or at least late reveals) of characters, and the low budget, The Trap Door at the Edge of the Universe is a charming film. The acting is compelling. As Sly, Shawn Hamilton (who looks like a young Carl Weathers) brings humor and confidence to the character that carries the film. In the last act, a reversal of fortunes, mythology, film references, and ancient history swirl around at a breakneck speed as an expanding Scooby Gang of protagonists seek a path to Base Reality (that which is not being written as a script by someone else).
“The acting is compelling.”
Interestingly, there has been, for some time, a theoretical scientific discussion about whether we could all be in a simulation. That started as a light-hearted, deeply nerdy joke among cosmologists, but it got serious after several theoretical physicists found themselves unable to prove we aren’t in a simulation. A recent Scientific American article quotes Elon Musk as offhandedly saying at a conference, “The odds that we are in base reality is one in billions.” The article states that the consensus among actual scientists is that it’s more like 50%, which is somewhat less dramatic but still unsettling, to say the least.
Writer/Director Noah Warner has touched on something real while having fun at the expense of screenwriters and putting together a madcap tour of multiple realities. In the reality where The Trap Door at the Edge of the Universe was created, some psychoactive substances may have been involved to open the doors of the mind. Jim Morrison said he believed in a long, prolonged derangement of the senses, which can be had here. Gather up your resources, and get deranged with this trippy little film.
"…a madcap tour of multiple realities."