Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival
It shouldn’t be a controversial statement to point out that Donald Trump is a giant raving douchebag with fascist tendencies, a boner for his daughter and a penchant for being extremely rapey while also giving zero fucks about the very concept of democracy… it shouldn’t be, but welcome to 2021 where everything is awful and we learned nothing from history because we let basically Hitler with a bad tan run wild with a government all of his own for 4 years and we’re currently living through something that can only be compared to the Spanish Flu of 1918. Things suck and they will continue to suck until the earth is finally done with our shit and kills us all… what I’m saying is that now is the perfect time for a film like Zero Fucks which is basically just 80 minutes of venting several years of built-up anger at the state of things.
Zero Fucks takes place in a fallout shelter sometime in the not too distant future where the last few people on earth reside. Those people, the only 4 humans left after President Donald Pump did something that caused all of humanity to die, make the most out of their situation by living in a constant orgy and just going through supplies all while being watched by their talking cat who they named Donald Pump because they thought it would be funny. One day they hear a message over the radio coming from outside, turns out that there’s another human being who survived. Unfortunately, that human is Ivanka Pump, and now those in the fallout shelter must figure out what to do with her and hope she doesn’t do something stupid like try to kill them all.
So in case, it isn’t obvious by reading the description, Zero Fucks is a political satire about the Trump administration that’s about as subtle as a horde of angry morons invading the Capitol building, it knows what it wants to do and isn’t afraid to be messy and cause a lot of damage while it does it. It doesn’t even try to hide what it’s doing, Donald Pump the cat is a guy who looks fairly close to Donald Trump but replace his awful hair (hey, remember when we just made hair jokes about Trump and didn’t have to put those on a back burner because of all the fascism?) with a bad set of cat ears, that somehow is still more convincing than the effects in Cats, this film refuses to be even a little bit subtle and I respect that.
Very clearly, Zero Fucks was shot on the cheap, you can tell – thanks to the set that looks like one of Dexter Morgan’s early kill rooms and the camera work that sometimes loses focus. It’s a very amateur production and there are times when it’s so amateur that it can distract, not helped by the fact that every few minutes someone is talking about going off to have sex. It’s like a porno that forgot to get to the actual porn and replaced it with social commentary, it’s a strange tone to have to work with and I can’t pretend that it always works… but, once you adjust to the limitations of budget, there’s a weird catharsis to be found here.
Obviously, a film like Zero Fucks isn’t about to try and say something brilliantly nuanced, it’s not asking a tough question or anything like that and it doesn’t really need to. This film is here to basically just vent about how bad Donald Trump is as a person and decides to do this by comparing him to a very pissed off and stupid cat who keeps annoying everyone and is constantly scheming… so, an apt comparison. It does also have a few jabs for those who don’t like Donald, namely that it’s almost a reflex to hate the entire Trump family without a second thought… but it also kinda justifies that reflex in the end so maybe that’s just me trying to find a balance where none exists (and none is needed, Fuck the entire Trump klan).
What honestly makes Zero Fucks work is the ending, which I won’t spoil but it takes a joke that everyone has made and just pushes it to the logical extreme in a way that you can’t help but at least chuckle about. While some of the punches thrown don’t quite land, the last one absolutely does and it’s worth the price of admission all on its own.
Shocker, a film titled Zero Fucks is the least subtle political satire you could ever imaging, a cathartic bloodletting of 4+ years of pent up rage aimed directly at a despicable fascist and his pathetic offspring. If you even have a mild drop of respect for Trump… well, you probably stopped reading this when I called him “rapey” but still, this film ain’t for you. This is for those who hate him so much that we want to just laugh at how fucking evil he always has been. Might not be great, but god damn did it feel good to see the Orange Man be taken down a peg.