Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Somebody Up There Likes Me": Dangerously Quirky 

Wednesday, Mar 20 2013

To promote his 1958 B-movie, Macabre, director William Castle offered audience members fake life insurance policies, and he also hired (fake) nurses to hang out in the lobby to look ominous — the gimmick being that his film might scare you to death. Nowadays, indie film directors like Bob Byington could take a page from Castle's showmanship playbook and insure people against Death By Quirk — particularly since while Castle's Macabre was not actually scary, Byington's Somebody Up There Likes Me really is dangerously quirky. Following emo-haired Max (Keith Poulson) through decades of self-absorption and bad relationship choices, there's not much else to Somebody Up There Likes Me other than quirkiness, and the movie stretches 20 minutes of story out to a still-overlong 75 minutes. Many indie-quirk guideposts are present, including but not limited to jaunty music (by a member of Vampire Weekend, naturally), gratuitous animation, equally gratuitous full-front female nudity — for such a twee film, it fails the Bechdel Test in a big way — and a mysterious glowing briefcase, because: Pulp Fiction. (Pity it's not the equally glowy briefcase of 1955's Kiss Me Deadly!) The one thing Somebody Up There Likes Me gets right, especially after under-using Kevin Corrigan, is offering up plenty of Nick Offerman. But even he can't compensate for the lethal levels of quirk.

About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


  • A Look Back at Summer 2014
    Labor Day is the unofficial end to summer -- back to school, the days grow shorter, and fall weather is just around the corner. So have a look back at San Francisco's 2014 summer.
  • Jack White at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
    Jack White and his band performed at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Friday and Saturday nights in front of sold out audiences. Jack entertained his fans with music that included songs from his days with The White Stripes, and The Raconteurs, as well as hits from his solo albums; Blunderbuss and Lazaretto. Photography by Sugarwolf.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed