Movie Review – Pottersville

Pottersville (2017)
Written by Daniel Meyer
Directed by Seth Henrikson

pottersville

Maynard runs one of the few stores that’s not been boarded up in downtown Pottersville, a small upstate New York town. One day he decides to get off work early and surprise his wife only to find her caught in a compromising situation with a fellow member of the Furry club. Despondent, Maynard drowns his sorrows in moonshine, eventually donning a gorilla costume and running around the town. As he recovers from his hangover the following morning, the man discovers he was mistaken for a Bigfoot, and now the news is spreading across the globe. A pompous television monster hunter shows up ready to exploit this mystery, and the people of Pottersville are eager to cash in on the newfound fame. But Maynard knows the truth will eventually come out.

Pottersville sells itself as a Christmas and looking at the poster and watching the trailer you might be tricked into believing this. But, if you do decide to sit down and slog your way through this insane film it becomes apparent Christmas is an afterthought slapped on to try and position the film for a December dump release. Christmas plays absolutely no significant role in the plot. Instead, we can see that Pottersville is actually more about the search for this phony Bigfoot and the screenwriter’s bizarre preoccupation with Furries.

I assumed the Furry plot point would merely be Maynard’s discovery of his wife engaged in such activity. That scene doesn’t play as particularly funny, yet the movie keeps coming back and hammering on the Furry angle. During the search, Australian monster hunter Brock Masterson stumbles upon a Furry gathering in the middle of the snowy woods. He is lured in and succumbs to their charms apparently. Writer Daniel Meyer must think just putting a Furry in front of a camera is the funniest thing in the world because his script tries to force them into every possible moment of the picture.

The cast of Pottersville is stunning as you must ask yourself WHY? Why did these people sign up for this movie? Michael Shannon, Ron Perlman, Judy Greer, Christina Hendricks, Thomas Lennon, Ian McShane. I have seen all these actors do good work in other movies, but they are all terrible in this one. It all speaks to the ineptitude of director Seth Henrikson who seems to be going for a rip off of the whimsy of Bryan Fuller’s Pushing Daisies and maybe some Wes Anderson tossed into the mix.

During a viewing of Pottersville, you find yourself asking a lot of questions. Does Michael Shannon know how to play drunk? What is wrong with Christina Hendricks’ agent? Is Ian McShane simply playing himself? Is this film a Hallmark Channel rejection? Did Ron Perlman make this movie just to get his daughter an acting gig or is this some sort of tax shelter scam? You won’t walk away with a lot of answers, you definitely won’t find yourself laughing at all, and you’ll have to wonder why you subjected yourself to this 80-minute mess.

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