Imagine a blend of “The Wizard of Oz,” “Beetlejuice” and “Roadside Prophets” and you’ll know exactly what “Wristcutters” is like.
This love story deals with suicide, as many do. But rather than focus on the event leading up to this desperate escape, “Wristcutters” takes a look at what happens after someone has committed suicide. The film opens on melancholic Zia (Patrick Fugit) as he tidies up his apartment. Is he expecting company? Nay. He just wants his place of death nice and clean. Before long, Zia is face down on the bathroom floor, surrounded by a growing pool of blood. Zia has cut his wrists, taking his life to spite his ex-girlfriend.
After death, Zia finds himself in a shitty, run down city, working at a pizza parlor and hanging out in bars that play New Order ad nauseum. This is his afterlife home. Suicides are banished to a world much like Earth, except almost totally barren. It’s a desert world riddled with old, dingy junk yards and lifeless towns, inhabited by souls of people who needed to take the next train off Earth and quick. Zia finds that he misses his ex even more so now than he ever did as his rash decision to end his life has permanently removed her from him…all but the fucking painful memories. How’s that for a kick in the ass? But, about a month after Zia arrives to this afterlife ghetto, he learns from Jake Busey that his ex has killed herself as well. Jake Busey: always packin’ the info. Not having seen her in this city, Zia figures that she must be elsewhere. So he loads up the car and hits the road, bringing his new friend, a Russian rocker dude, along for the ride. During their trip they pick up sexy hitchhiker, Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon) and she joins them on their trek across the desert to search for Zia’s dead love. Along the way they meet a cast of kooky characters including Kellner (Tom Waits) who’s kind of a leader of the dead. This love story begins with pain and gets even more painful as, while on their wild road trip through the land of the dead, Zia and Mikal begin developing feelings for each other. Oof.
It’s goofy. I can definitely say that. But it’s goofy on purpose and that’s the kind of goofy we like…sometimes. This movie has a whole lotta goofy and that’s gonna be quite a bit for some audiences, but other people will find a delightfully strange road trip.
This review has been brought to you by the word: GOOFY.