Antibirth (Blu-ray/DVD)

AntibirthStarring Natasha Lyonne, Chloe Sevigny, Meg Tilly

Directed by Danny Perez

Distributed by Scream Factory


Ask anyone who writes film reviews and nearly all will agree that it is much easier to cover a good film or a bad film than it is to cover a mediocre film. Great films can inspire as much passionate discussion as those that are laughably terrible, but a film that simply exists for a predetermined length of time and offers up nothing but one instantly forgettable scene after the next is a drag. Antibirth (2016) is one of those films. When the greatest compliment a film can be paid is related to its home video cover art, that should be a red flag something is seriously amiss. Really, though, We Buy Your Kids, who I believe reside in Australia, did a fine job on the psychedelic artwork. The film itself, however, is a mess.

Lou (Natasha Lyonne) is a perpetually stoned party girl who wakes up one morning after a seemingly-typically night of getting wasted to find she may be pregnant. Her friend, Sadie (Chloe Sevigny), is sure she’s got a loaf baking in there, but Lou confesses she hasn’t had sex in over a year. Given how crude and gnarly she is, that doesn’t come as a big surprise. A weird itinerant lady, Lorna (Meg Tilly), comes across Lou and seems to get some strange vibes off of her. As all of this is occurring to Lou, a drug dealer on the other side of town has some lady chained up in his place, using her as a guinea pig for some new designer drugs. Lou has likely been given these drugs and is possibly carrying some weird druggie fetus creature in her womb. Who cares?

That’s the gist of this whole thing. I think. Director Danny Perez seems less concerned with making a legit feature film with any semblance of an actual story, opting instead for a purple haze of sequences that have as much weight to them as a cloud of smoke. I don’t know who the intended audience is here but there isn’t really a movie here and, so, it’s a little difficult to discuss a series of shitty scenes strung together masquerading as a real film. Even worse, Perez has some actual talent on board with names like Lyonne, Sevigny, and Tilly. Lyonne has gotten by playing the hard-talking, rough-living druggie the past few years, and this role is less of a stretch and more of a slight bend. Sevigny and Tilly can both be great when they have the right material with which to work. Here, they’re both given table scraps and expected to… I’m not sure. Elevate the lack of material simply by being present? I can only assume their appearances here amount to a personal favor to someone in the upper echelon of the production team because I can’t imagine a scenario where any of them read this script and thought, “This sounds like a great opportunity to show my stuff!”

The 1.85:1 1080p image is pretty standard for digital HD. Clarity is often excellent, film grain doesn’t exist, colors – though heavily graded often – are nicely saturated. The quality of the picture itself is great.

There are English DTS-HD MA tracks available in 2.0 stereo or 5.1 surround sound. I chose the multi-channel track and found nothing spectacular to suggest it is any better than the stereo offering. It gets the job done, although in this case the job should have been mercifully killing me before the opening credits ended.

“Promotional Marketing Shorts”, a handful of weird videos, storyboards, and a trailer make up the extras.
Special Features:

  • Promotional Marketing Shorts
  • Storyboards
  • Trailer

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Anthony Arrigo

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