Bad Dads – no, like, BAD.

I don’t know how many of you regularly hit film festivals, especially the shorts programs, but they’re usually set up like this: one or two deeply depressing “socially conscious” films, a palate cleanser of a comedy, a thinky/humorous short or two, then the deeply sexy and/or disturbing shorts to round things out. This is pretty much how they’re set up anywhere in the country, unless it’s at a women’s film festival, in which case they’re all about women being abused sexually and/or lesbians that kill themselves because they’re lesbians. Good times!

I usually hang on through the depressing set, hoping the pay off of the comedy shorts will be huge. At the Dallas International Film Festival, the pay off was just that. Bad Dads is a film by Derek Westerman and starring Will Hines of the Upright Citizens Brigade as the worst dad ever and Michael Cera of every hipster indie film ever as the frightened awkward bird of an adolescent that just wants to connect with him, then immediately regrets his decision to do so.

Maybe you’ve picked up on the fact that I love things that are so wrong they’re right. As the son comes to meet his dad for the first time, Hines is currently half-dressed in the hallway listening to some crazed and pumped up Jean Michel Jarre music, letting the energy “enter him,” then tells his son to turn around because he’s got his dick out.

If that doesn’t prepare you for the next fourteen minutes, nothing will. They shot this is 12 hours, according to the director, and it was 50/50 scripted and improv’d. Will Hines is one of the teachers at UCB and a member of The Stepfathers troupe, and I make a point of always catching one of their shows whenever I’m in NY, and you should, too. As long as you have a crowd of actual New Yorkers, you’ll have a great experience. (Translation: there’s a Bridge and Tunnel type that usually derails any and every show they can, because they’re douche nozzles like that. Protip: don’t be that douche.)

Anything you can think of that would be inappropriate for your father to say to you, multiply that times fifty and dress it in a touch of Jame Gumb with a hint of To Catch A Predator and you’ll come close to this guy.

“Ok, I’m not a tranny. Alright? Daddy’s not a tranny. I just want to be pretty. Hey, I see you around all the time with your teenage baby face [creepy face stroke] it just makes me think that I’ve got to, uh, step up my game a little.”

Then comes a good two or three minutes of Dad getting quieter and more intense, telling his son to give him his baby face. Give it. “No, daddy….” Oh my god, I about slipped out of my chair laughing.

They debuted portions of the 5 episodes (all total it’s about 14 minutes) on CollegeHumor.com {here is the first episode}, but for the full effect, you need to see it in one fell swoop. For me, the most brilliant part of the whole film was the dad’s story board for his 17 year in progress novel about sexually transformative vampires, and what he deemed were the “most important parts.” Of course we’re going to show the genitalia change, without that, we might as well not bother.

I mentioned his son is 17, right? And this is his first time getting to know his dad? Awesome.

Check it out at a festival near you, you will not be disappointed. Unless you hate laughing, darkness, underaged girlfriends and huffing like some kind of lame-ass grandma. No offense, Grandma. To be honest, my grandma does like to dress in an asphyxiation latex suit with her current Twink, so this is up her alley.

Please like & share: