Film Threat archive logo


By KJ Doughton | August 30, 2005

“The Chumscrubber” inhabits a suburban wasteland that might as well belong to George Romero. Arie Posin’s surreal critique of contemporary disconnect between overmedicated teenagers and their needy, self-involved parents brings to mind a sort of “Dawn of the Half-Dead.” The filmmaker serves up a stew of detached neighbors, whose zombified indifference to one another is shattered only by a jolting, final-reel wake-up call. Until then, it’s a stoned limbo of teens hooked on antidepressants while their parents drown unhappiness with weddings, weight-loss, and New Age conversions.

Hell… Romero’s famously undead ghouls shuffle with more gusto than Dean (Jamie Bell), whose father thinks he’s crazy and whose mother insists that vitamins are the key to all that ails him. And there’s a lot ailing Dean. Having just discovered his best friend’s body dangling limply from a noose, this grieving, confused adolescent is also involved in a lunkheaded kidnapping plan involving the local police chief’s son. But Dean’s repressed emotions ultimately come to a head – as the phony veil of well-being is yanked off the troubled community of Hillside.

In contrast to Hillside’s emotionally distant population, the dynamic filmmaking team behind “The Chumscrubber” is a lively, gregarious bunch that represents a unique hybrid of talent. Producer Bonnie Curtis, longtime production assistant with Steven Spielberg, combined forces with Quentin Tarantino producer Lawrence Bender to bring Posin’s unique vision to life. Meanwhile, the first-time director of “The Chumscrubber” is son of Russian dissident moviemaker Misha Posin, and was mentored by legendary director Billy Wilder during his childhood.

With Curtis representing studio savvy, Bender adding street cred, and Posin taking the role of emerging wunderkind, “The Chumscrubber” welds together what the director calls “an indie sensibility and a studio sensibility.” In the following interview, Curtis and Posin discuss their dive into this cinematic melting pot of filmmaking styles, approaches, and histories. Meanwhile, they also touch on “The Chumscrubber’s” recurring themes: parent-child relationships, the art of communication, and the pursuit of happiness.

Get the interview in part two of ARIE POSIN AND BONNIE CURTIS: CHUMSCRUBBER CHUMS>>>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon