Imagine if you took the beginnings of bawdy, foul-mouthed endeavours like Trailer Park Boys and Letterkenny, and turned the self-aware attitude up to 20.
That, my friends, will be what you get from Pogey Beach.
The film, from director-writer Jeremy Larter, is a no-holds-barred, mile-a-minute farce that would play perfectly to a drunk crowd that likes their films shamelessly referential, ironic and sporadically hilarious.
It revolves around the girls and boys of Pogey Beach, P.E.I., a fictional place where all the partiers who sit on the government’s Employment Insurance dime all summer go to have a good time.
But it’s not all fun and games, as the legendary Gary Gallant (Robbie Carruthers) takes on Lyle MacDonald (Ryan Cameron) in a bid to become Pogey Beach king at the summer’s end.
This is a hilarious concept, and a great take on the Maritime practice (don’t pretend you don’t know someone who does it) of working seasonal jobs so they can grab EI for the summer and coast until the leaves begin to fall.
The actors are game, but the only thing keeping Pogey Beach from greatness is that it takes a scattershot approach.
It’s not refined enough to make sure all the jokes land, and some of the middle portion sags as a result.
Overall though, you can see Larter and the cast are having a hell of a lot of fun, and their enjoyment is contagious.
There are some great, subtle riffs on cinematic classics like Jaws, and a nice summer lovin’ Grease undertone to this, which tells me perhaps Larter hasn’t shown all his cards yet.
Come for the concept, but don’t take it too seriously. I will say this for these Pogey Beachers: There’s a whole lot of potential here, and that’s worth a whole lot.
I’ll be anxiously awaiting Larter’s next effort, because something tells me he has more uniquely Maritime stories to tell.