Antibirth is the story of a young lady, Lou (short for Louisa or Louise, I am guessing) who wakes up after a wild night of drugs, sex and rock and roll. She does not feel very well and who would after God only knows what she has ingested at the party the night before. As the days go by, it is clear that something is wrong with her. She swears she is not pregnant, but after only a couple of days she looks like she is full term and could pop at any moment. Her friend, Sadie (Chloe Sevigny) tries to get Lou to go to a doctor, but Lou refuses, much to her own detriment.
Antibirth’s trailers intrigued me, to be honest. But, despite some excellent cinematography and snappy visuals, it is the story that hampers this film. It has some great acting by Natasha Lyonne who defies the leading lady label for herself as Lou, a self destructive loner who works only when she wants to because it interferes with her partying. Living in a rundown trailer in the middle of Michigan (although the film was shot entirely in Ontario Canada) she slightly remembers her father who was in the military but died years earlier. Not that she would have remembered anything about him since she has spent most of her life in a drug and alcohol induced haze. Lyonne’s Lou is a bit of a skeezer, but there was something still likable about her, although I could not tell you what it is. I have always been a fan of Natasha Lyonne, so maybe that is it.
In fact, the cast does do what it needs to keep the plot going. Chloe Sevigny and Lyonne (who are very close friends in real life) are good together. Meg Tilly makes a return to the big screen as Lorna, a cagey but confused woman who was once in the military as a radar operator, but now feels that the military is up to no good. Tilly, very busy up until 1995 as a leading lady actress, dropped out of acting and did not return until 2010 on television. She now is getting back into theatrical films, which is great news. It is too bad our three leading ladies are not in a better film. Lyonne has had her own health issues in the past which are clearly visible in her character of Lou and it works, but sad to see.
Antibirth will repulse most people. Some of the gore in the film will definitely send some to the restrooms. But even as a crafted film, it is slow, unfocused and plodding. Instead of fleshing out characters and getting some kind of idea why they do what they do, we are subjected to a tired retread of drug dealers, military and alien conspiracies and things that go bump in the night. This is an ambitious film and I credit writer and director Danny Perez with creating a fresh idea for a film, but the execution of it is off. Instead, we are treated to people getting high, being irresponsible with themselves and all of the mystery of what is happening to Lou is summed up in the last ten minutes makes very little sense. Even the score of John Kanakis works in some scenes and in others it is merely grating. Antibirth is a valiant effort for a B film with a mere three and a half million dollar budget, but needed another rewrite of the script. Watching this film is like being the only sober person at a party where everyone is trashed; amusing at first but gets old real fast.
Antibirth – ** out of 5
Antibirth – Rated R for language, gore, violence and nudity
Antibirth – Run Time is 94 minutes
Antibirth is now in select cities at select theaters. Check your local listings for times and locations. It is also available On Demand, Amazon and other pay services.