Kissy Cousins Monster Babies
What’s the best way to get out of serious debt? Make a $200 million-grossing movie by recycling and randomly mixing together parts of various ‘crap’ movies – because crap always sells and crap always catches the public’s eye. This is exactly what two bigshot Hollywood producers trying to save their careers are thinking – they either need to do creative work or risk a moneyless existence, the thought of which they find absolutely terrifying. Thus, they need to come up with a movie idea by the end of the day. However, despite their long-lasting Hollywood careers, neither of them has any scriptwriting experience – actually, neither has ever even read a screenplay. They decide to first start by applying their marketing prowess and come up with the holy grail of filmmaking: a catchy title. They initially struggle – creativity is clearly not their strong suit – but when one of them incidentally mentions some near-romantic experiences with his cousin at some point during his youth, the two are left with a catchy working title: 'Kissy Cousins Monster Babies'.
The film starts off by piling up 90s pop culture references, as well as social and political contexts, some more subtle than others. Star Wars and Jurassic Park get the nod, so does Arnie, the Clintons and the Bushes are unavoidably mentioned before everything reverts to a more film-based environment. The humor is very in-your-face, at times extremely unfunny, but it can be forgiven if we consider what it’s trying to do and what the object of parody is. The depth of material poked fun at in the first 10 minutes alone is nothing short of remarkable, and the film continued to surprise us with the sheer range of jokes and gags. Our favorite thing about it is that it holds no punches, and pretty much goes on to insult every Hollywood stereotype that you can think of.
As outrageous as its initial 10 to 15 minutes are, 'Kissy Cousins Monster Babies' takes yet another leap of faith once the two producers settle on the title, and jumps to the present day, placing all the references into a more up-to-date context. Despite the big reveal, which we won’t spoil, the latter part is less inspired, simply because it feels too much like every YouTube parody of current political and social affairs. The overacted bits of acting from the two producers feel so on point that it hurts (in a good way), and the shooting style and cinematography seamlessly combine into what almost feels like an omnipresent character – the 90s in person.
On a deeper level, it begs the question of whether or not politics and the entertainment industry have somehow merged (especially considering who the president of the US is), and whether or not anything has changed in a quarter of a century, save for a few surface things. Whether or not 'Kissy Cousins Monster Babies' is a potent philosophical musing on the transient nature of big business, or merely a semi-funny collection of nostalgic laughs, depends, as always, on who is watching.