Hundreds Of Beavers Review
Hundreds of Beavers is excited to announce their North American theatrical rollout. The film, which was lensed in Wisconsin and Michigan over a period of four years, will begin screenings with a Great Lakes Roadshow. The cast and crew of the comedy cult hit of the 2023 festival circuit, are coming to cities around the Great Lakes to host rowdy screenings of their surreal slapstick winter comedy through January and February.
Each performance will include an intro, live performers, exclusive merchandise, and a Q&A with special and surprise guests. The screenings will kick off in Minneapolis, MN on January 26 at the Showplace Icon Theater and conclude in Toronto on February 10 at the Fox. Following the Roadshow, Hundreds of Beavers will go on screening across the United States for runs and engagements in New York City (Selected Screens beginning February 27), Los Angeles (Laemmle Glendale beginning March 15), Atlanta (Plaza Theater on February 9), Charlotte (The Independent Picture House beginning March 29) and many more.
Please check to see when the film is opening near you Release Dates can be found: https://hundredsofbeavers.com/#watch
In 2023, I watched Skinamarink early in the year, and it was the weirdest, wildest, most one-of-a-kind thing I would see for the duration of the twelve month stretch.
With its beyond minimalist approach, Skinamarink took avant garde filmmaking to new territories with a feature length production that only showed TV screens, the corners or walls of rooms, stairs, toys, and other mundane household settings. It featured little sound and even less dialogue. It was a strictly atmospheric movie designed to prey on your anxiety and the fear of what you just can’t quite sense but know is there.
For transparency’s sake, Hundreds Of Beavers is barely anything like Skinamarink. For one thing, it’s a comedy instead of a horror. You see the protagonist the whole time, and the camera shows you, you know, the movie and what’s actually going on!
But at the same time, Hundreds of Beavers is probably the weirdest, wildest, most one-of-a-kind thing I’m probably going to see in 2024, and it’s BARELY February as of this writing.
Telling the story of Jean Kayak, Hundreds Of Beavers gives the man’s ups and downs and his applejack business burns to the ground, and he is forced to make a go of surviving in the wilderness using what little he has in the way of wits. He has to match up against the wildlife in a struggle to make it day to day, fill his tummy, and maybe even find love along the way.
And… that’s it. I mean… stuff happens, but that’s the plot.
So with that out of the way, let’s move into the Ups and Downs.
TWO UPS AND TWO DOWNS
+After a somewhat slow opening twenty-to-thirty minutes where you are either going to turn the movie off in annoyance or stay watching out of bewildered speculation, Hundreds Of Beavers ends up getting incredibly funny. Once things started rolling, I laughed out loud several times, and the laughs got louder and heartier as the film went on. Hundreds Of Beavers is clever and witty!
+The movie is mostly silent, black and white, and absolutely absurdist. It’s a live action cartoon. But not a modern cartoon; it reminds me, being the certain age that I am, of the random VHS tapes my Grammy had while I was growing up. They were of generic, probably royalty-free, cartoons; the kind where characters would get into whacky circumstances, repetition of jokes ruled over the events, and nature often proven to be our heroes’ undoing.
And that’s this flick in a nutshell. An old timey cartoon, brought to life with people in animal costumes, with just a sprinkle of Monty Python sensibilities thrown in. It’s wildly imaginative and creative. All the credit in the world to the folks who not only dreamed this up but decided to shoot it and polish it for a release.
-At over a hundred minutes, the movie is too long. It hurts to say that when I admittedly found it to be funnier as it went, but there’s just not enough story or idea here to run 100 minutes. I mentioned how those old timey cartoons would repeat gags centered around the protagonist’s continued failings, and while this is no doubt aping that concept, it doesn’t quite work at a hundred minutes as well as it does for a twenty minute cartoon.
At the same time, I’m not sure what exactly you would cut to make this a more compact run time. Probably a chunk of the first act, and then a few bits from scene to scene. Other than the early set up and the constant joking of how awful Jean Kayak initially is at survival, there are no other segments that feel largely unnecessary. But there’s enough fat to trim to get this down under 90 minutes and go from there.
-While not a down for me personally, this movie falls entirely under the category of “not for everyone”, and that’s something of a down for it as a film. I loved Hundreds Of Beavers, but I have no idea who I would show it to that I think would also dig it. You MUST enjoy a filmmaking style that is somehow both a throwback and original. You have to enjoy comedy at its most ballsy and strange. You must accept that the movie is going to do what it wants to do and maybe not what you want it to do.
When I finally got all the way on board, I found Hundreds Of Beavers to be an absolute treat. I laughed plenty, and just… the whole experiment of it all was so damn fun. If you like “out there” comedy–the kind of stuff that seems “stupid” until you realize how ingenious it is to come up with it–then by all means, give this outing a try. If your sensibilities skew more modern and straight-ahead, this might not be for you.