The Sundance Film Festival is a place where you can expect to feel like you’re a part of the film-making process. The late night screening and discussion of Wrong Cops, a work in progress by Quentin Dupieux, was no exception. Though the film is not yet complete, the first 45 minutes gave us at Sundance the unique opportunity for a preview and an intimate chat with the cast, director and producer. With a hilarious chapter in which Marilyn Manson plays an awkward teenager being harassed by a bored cop, this screening was one of those great Sundance experiences this year. Read on after the jump.

The Players:

  • Director: Quentin Dupieux
  • Screenwriter: Quentin Dupieux
  • Producer: Grégory Bernard
  • Cinematographer(s): Quentin Dupieux
  • Starring: Mark Burnham, Marilyn Manson, Eric Judor, Steve Little, Arden Myrin

Synopsis:

Duke is a cop with too much time on his hands. In a city without any criminals to catch or crimes to solve, he spends his time finding inventive ways to sell drugs and harassing a teenager. The other cops in his department are equally bored, angry, and mischievous. Shot in chapters, this series follows the belligerent and ruthless deeds of enforcers when given nothing to enforce but their own egotism.

The Good:

The first chapter in which Marilyn Manson is a teenager, harassed and kidnapped by Duke because of his taste in music, is priceless. The film has the sensibility of Super Troopers without the cartoon-like quality. It’s grittier, humorous without being silly, and more perverted, all of which I liked. I left wanting to see more.

The Bad:

Because it is shot in brief chapters, the stops and starts don’t give it the feel of a feature, but more of a string of webisodes. In the Q&A, Mr. Dupieux explained that this was done to allow for immediate online release of the individual pieces as they were finished. But I myself being partial to feature films, would prefer to see it edited together to give it more coherence.

Overall:

I think Wrong Cops has the potential to have a great cult following, whether it be on the web or in late night screenings in theaters.  It’s easy to see how many actors and artists might want to be a part of a chapter or two. Marilyn Manson wanted to shoot something with Mr. Dupieux and this is what came out. It’s funny, disturbing, and unabashedly wrong.

Rating: 7.5/10