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Escape From Tomorrow

I love creative people who are willing to take risks with their art. I appreciate the refusal to do things by the rules. I'm also terribly impatient with mediocrity. Enter Escape From Tomorrow.

Created by a team of rogue filmmakers, the movie was shot in the video mode of high-end still cameras. Actors shared scripts and shooting locations across their smartphones. Shot on location at Disney World, the parks were completely unaware this was all going on right under their mouse ears.

I wanted to love Escape From Tomorrow. More than that, I wanted to be completely taken with its ingenuity and creativity and - oh yes - its originality. And there is really a simple brilliance to their covert plan; all families are roaming around the parks, taking videos and chatting on their phones. Just blend the fuck in, act like you belong, and you won't get caught. Too bad the movie can be summed up as: ambitious but Rubbish.

As you can imagine (or possibly know), there was a ton of controversy, conjecture, and so many rumors about Escape From Tomorrow. Some heralded it as the greatest guerrilla film made to date (meaning they have never seen any of John Water's early films where they would film in parks, on city streets, and anywhere else they liked).

People feared the filmmakers would be sued or jailed, if the film was released. Some thought the film would never see the light of day. Both of these concerns clearly being unfounded and displaying a not surprising lack of insight; the smart choice would actually have been for Disney to pick up the movie, market the crap out of it, create some merchandise, and make bank off of this stunt. The absolute last thing they wanted to do was waste money on trying to stop this movie from developing a cult following. Hello, free marketing!

That may have been when the comparisons started; director Randy Moore has created a Lynchian (as in, like David Lynch) nightmare in which a seemingly happy, all American dream hides dark, malevolent secrets and terrifying desires. Which is the type of thing people write when they get the concepts behind David Lynch's work, but have never actually seen any - and certainly haven't seen the thing they are comparing to his work.

The gist of the movie goes something like this:

A family on vacation at Disney World accidentally stumbles into a shady underworld of princess prostitutes, vampiric creatures on rides, decapitations, and cat flu. There's also some lecherous, pedophilic affliction apparently going around that the father seems to catch immediately, as he spends the entire movie lusting after two French girls who are barely 10 years old. Gross.

Like many other movies in this world, Escape From Tomorrow does not live up to the hype it generated. The story is disjointed and clearly written by someone who is inexperienced. Some of the plot elements could have been pulled together by a better writer into a terrifying story.

Like David Lynch.

So as a wrap up here, skip Escape From Tomorrow and just watch Blue Velvet if you want to be horrified by the secret lives people lead.

You can read some of the buzz about Escape From Tomorrow here:

You can watch the trailer here - which I strongly suggest because it is THE ONLY good part of the movie.


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