A year after its SXSW debut, Joel Potrykus’ low-fi comedy Relaxer is about to hit theatres. The film tells the story of Abbie, a young man who embarks on history’s most epic video game binge-session while the world around him goes to shit. The movie stars Potrykus’ frequent collaborator Joshua Burge, as well as David Dastmalchian, Andre Hyland, Amari Cheatom, and Adina Howard.
Relaxer isn’t a plot-heavy movie so much as a vibe movie. Much like Richard Linklater’s Slacker, the picture works best if you let its laid-back vibe wash over you. On Second thought, words can do this picture justice, so take a look for yourself.
IMDb lists Relaxer as comedy/fantasy but based on the trailer, it clearly exists as its own breed of film. The movie currently sits at 77% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with IndieWire’s chief film critic and deputy editor Eric Kohn calling it, “A grotesque downward spiral, both hilarious and mesmerizing, but above all elevated by its insights into the depraved final gasp of the analog age.”
Relaxer isn’t everyone’s’ cup of tea. But if you’re down for its absurd, nostalgic, and outlandish look back at the Y2K era, Relaxer provides a uniquely satisfying experience.
Doom and gloom are on the way. The Y2K apocalypse can’t be stopped. Abbie’s older brother issues him the ultimate challenge before it goes down: beat the infamous level 256 in Pac-Man and no getting up from the couch until he does so. Abbie’s survival story begins here; inside a rotting living room with no food or water, and a revolving door of numb-nut friends and acquaintances. It’s THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL by way of SLACKER.
You can watch Relaxer in select cinemas starting March 22, 2019.