I never heard of Josh Evans prior to seeing his new film “The Price of Air”…and having seen it, I hope never to hear of him again. “The Price of Air” is an amateurish atrocity so totally lacking in redeeming qualities that its presence in theatrical distribution can only bring pleasure to those seeking any evidence to bolster the argument that God does not exist.
The dimwit plot concerns a suburban dork-punk named Paul (played by Evans) who is inexplicably recruited to carry a stash of herbal hallucinogens from Mexico into California. The mission inevitably goes awry and the idiot carrier is on the run. For no very good reason, he attracts a lesbian porno actress who immediately gets the hots for him and suddenly decides to join the majority 90% of the population in traditional copulating. This fun-loving pair have a hotel idyll interrupted by a British hitman who bursts into their room with the goal of removing a kidney from Paul (it seems the hitman may have seen “Urbania” one time too many). The ex-d**e disposes of the hitman by fatally breaking his nose and the oddball lovers flee to the desert sands of Nevada (it seems they saw “Zabriskie Point” one time too many) for some more lovemaking and herb-induced tripping.
As the writer of “The Price of Air,” Evans has no talent whatsoever for approximating genuine human conversation or pretending to offer scenarios that even vaguely resemble real life. As a director, Evans clumsily apes the style of the Dogma directors while eliciting ghastly caricature performances from his B-list cast, most horrifically with a wildly miscast Dick Van Patten as a racist millionaire who hosts S&M leather parties. As an actor, Evans is an obnoxious presence who would inspire the tossing of insults and objects at the screen. A careful review of the film’s press kit reveals Evans is the son of legendary producer Robert Evans and actress Ali MacGraw, which is perhaps the best argument against nepotism imaginable.
Dismally photographed in DV (complete with out-of-focus shots and annoying handheld camerawork), edited haphazardly and burdened with a dull score from Seal, Goldie and Sticky Fingaz (who has a small, stereotyped black comic relief role), “The Price of Air” offers a suffocating assault on the senses. This is clearly one of the year’s very worst films.