2013 / Director. Yoav Lester. Christopher HP Mitchell.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
START OPTIONS EXIT opened up the MELBOURNE UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL with a wallop! This new Australian feature film sets out to assault our senses and offend as many people as possible... and it does so while smirking all the way. The film begins with an impressive and totally absorbing animated sequence, introducing the two lead characters via an old school Nintendo game. They are Neville and Yolis, two no-hopers who show zero regard for other people, social expectations or even themselves. Living a life of debauchery, loafing and video games we follow their exploits as they indulge in everything from degrading homeless people to raping ex-girlfriends... and in true subversive and exploitation style, we laugh at all of it (albeit uncomfortably for the most part). This is a film that achieves exactly what it sets out to do and makes no apologies. Some people may cringe at this comparison and I mean it as a compliment but Kevin Smith's CLERKS kept coming to mind all the way through START OPTIONS EXIT and I really hope that director's Yoav Lester and Christopher HF Mitchell enjoy the same level of attention that Smith has enjoyed. The film shares the same type of FUCK YOU attitude as CLERKS and also conjures thoughts of RULES OF ATTRACTION. I laughed till I hurt and dug all of the movie's depravity and innuendos. Yoav Lester and Ari Neville lead the film effortlessly and will easily appeal to a stoner demographic (again, a compliment). The support cast is great and there are some wonderful cameos from people like Tottie Goldsmith, Chopper Read and Ron Jeremy. Sadly it seems that Franco Cozzo's role was cut from the final cut, which is a shame because he has been part of the press release. Hopefully he will be seen on a dvd release. As if it wasn't already impressive enough, the film is technically excellent too. It looks sharp, avoids cheap tricks and maintains a strong and restrained cinematography. The party sequence is an excellent example of how controlled the film is and it easily rivals some of Hollywood's house-party movies. There is no doubt that people are going to be offended... some will be outraged.... and others will be bemused. This film ain't for them! For the rest of us who love our cinema cultish, provoking and explicit then START OPTIONS EXIT delivers in spades.