Zonad John & Kieran Carney

Zonad John & Kieran Carney
Considering that John Carney's previous directorial effort, Once, was a slow, simple romance known for the melodically contagious Oscar-winning music performed by Glen Hanford and Markéta Irglovà, a straight up dick and fart boy comedy wouldn't seem like the logical follow up. But that's essentially what Zonad is: playing out a like a less clever version of Top of the Food Chain when an obese, alcoholic mental patient is discovered in the fictional Irish village of Ballymoran and mistaken for an alien. No doubt, the name Ballymoran is intentional, given that its denizens seem perfectly at ease assuming that a man in a red Lycra bodysuit would happen upon their village and crave nothing more than beer and young females. This Pleasantville meets Swingers tone stays consistent throughout Zonad's brief running time, but never happens upon any true humour. It settles instead for protracted sequences of the titular lout (Simon Delaney) convincing young girls to bounce around on his knob and gags about the village police officer taking people out to the town limits and urinating on them. Amidst this strained scatological comedy there's some subtext about the notion of celebrity and the effects that alcoholism has on those around the inflicted, which is not so subtly exaggerated by "put on" American and German accents, but mostly it's ungraceful, straightforward '80s jokes. There is even a sequence wherein village naysayer Guy Hendrickson (Rory Keenan) dresses as a woman to trap the alien celebrity within a sexual controversy, which, of course, leads to awkward stripteases and unplanned touching. While not offensive or outwardly bad, Zonad has the unfortunate fate of being a comedy that never manages to be funny or even particularly charming. Although there is surely someone out there that finds coy euphemisms about opening up like a flower, ready to be pollinated, absolutely hilarious. If so, this is the film for them. Unsurprisingly, no supplements are included with the DVD. (Mongrel Media)