'Jobe'z World': Film Review
A rollerblading drug dealer runs into trouble when one of his customers dies in Michael C. Bilandic's microbudgeted dark comedy.
Not even the illicit drugs sold by its titular character would make Jobe'z World anything other than a cinematic ordeal. This microbudgeted feature written and directed by Michael M. Bilandic (Hellaware) strains mightily for a cult status it's highly unlikely to achieve.
Beginning with trippy images of constellations and a stoned-sounding narration by its protagonist, the story, set in "New York City, Planet Earth," revolves around Jobe (Jason Grisell), whose name, it's pointed out by another character, is not spelled like the biblical Job. Sporting bleached blond hair, copious tattoos, earrings and a paint-splattered t-shirt, Jobe makes his living selling drugs. His primary product is ecstasy, which he dispenses to various regular customers while rollerblading around New York City.
Awaiting the arrival of his mother on a flight landing at JFK, Jobe is assigned by his boss Linda (Lindsay Burdge) to make a delivery to aging movie star Royce (Theodore Bouloukos, bearing a resemblance to a late-period Orson Welles), who happens to be Jobe's favorite actor. Royce's drug of choice is medical grade propofol. "It's worse than what killed MJ and Prince put together," Linda warns Jobe.
The burly, bearded Royce and Jobe hit it off, with the former offering philosophical advice ("Showing up…that's the secret of my success!") and the latter showing off his original, hand-drawn comic book titled Celestial Steven, Space Raider. But things go south shortly afterward when Royce dies from the drug, his demise graphically shown in a homemade video that goes viral. Pursued by both the cops and paparazzi, Jobe desperately tries to avoid the tragic ramifications of his chosen profession.
Writer-director Bilandic fails to infuse the painfully thin proceedings with any narrative momentum or comic flair, resulting in an oppressive weirdness for weirdness' sake. None of the encounters between the central character and his eccentric clients proves remotely interesting and the plot elements that might have been fruitful, such as the immature Jobe's relationship with his visiting mother, are barely explored. Despite his numerous quirky traits, the character mostly remains a blank cipher unilluminated by Grisell's uninvolving performance.
None of the supporting players are any more effective, although Bouloukos provides some mildly amusing moments as the self-involved thespian. The pic's amateurish technical elements, including muddy visuals and a crude sound design, prove a trial to endure. Not as much of a trial, however, as the overbearing electronic musical score which feels most suitable for a cheesy 1950s-era sci-fi film.
Production company: Jobewerkz
Distributor: Factory 25
Cast: Jason Grissell, Owen Kline, Stephen Payne, Jeremy O. Harris, Lindsay Burdge, Theodore Bouloukos, Sean Price Williams, Keith Poulson, Jason Giampietro, Kate Lyn Sheil
Director-screenwriter: Michael M. Bilandic
Producers: Adam Ginsberg, Spencer Kiernan
Director of photography: Sean Price Williams
Production designer: Jeffrey Cashvan
Editor: Zach Clark
Composer: Paul Grimstad
Costume designer: Alex Lee
Casting: Eleanore Hendricks