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Starring: Les Claypool, Adam Gates, Jason McHough, Brian Kehoe, Jonathan Korty
Writer: Les Claypool
Director: Les Claypool

I have something to admit (as I will do many many times on this website): I hate hate HATE This is Spinal Tap. Maybe it's a generational gap, but I find it painfully unfunny and not that entertaining. I will hand it to them though: they were influential. The movie in question today, Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo, is directly influenced by the Christopher Guest movie.

Electric Apricot is a fictional jam/hippie band comprised of egotistical drummer Lapdog (Les Claypool, also the writer and director), eternally hippie bassist Aiwass (Adam Gates), the Sage-burning keyboardist Herschel (Jonathan Korty), and the guitarist/all around crazy pothead Gordo (Bryan Kehoe). Led by their manager Smilin' Don (played by Jason McHough of Cannibal: The Musical! "fame"), they have but one quest: to play Festeroo, a giant gathering of jam bands in a small wooded area in Oregon that occurs once a year. As they attempt to reach this goal, we learn about each member of the band as they play shows and attempt to record their first full-length CD, all the while running into a bevy of interesting people (celebrity cameos like Seth Green and Matt Stone).

I will say this up front: the movie is good, however, I did not laugh really at all. It is supposed to be a comedy, so I can only assume this is a bad thing. However, I wasn't bored by the movie or turned off like I am every time I attempt to watch This is Spinal Tap. I enjoyed the movie, and it is well-done. It's in the same vein as Spinal Tap, where there is partly a script and a storyline, but a lot gets improvised. Les Claypool of Primus fame has his hands in every part of this movie, and it seems a bit of a vanity project for him. He takes too much stock in his funny facial expressions and he is absolutely everywhere in this movie. I loves me some Les Claypool, but his performance really distracted me throughout the film and I began to find him more annoying than entertaining.

The best character is Herschel, definitely. The moments where I smirked or had a bit of a chuckle revolved around him. He plays himself off as a calm person, who does yoga and lights Sage (which looks like a giant joint) at all points in time to the chagrin of his bandmates. The moments I laughed was where he would lose his shit in very small outbursts, on the golf course and while driving. Jonathan Korty did a helluva job fleshing out this character, and he was the one I liked out of all the members of the band itself. Jason McHugh also did well as their manager, and I was honestly surprised to see him in a movie since I didn't think he was still involved with film. The last time I'd seen him was a bit part in Orgazmo!, but I loved his character in Cannibal: The Musical! so I was happy to see him still tooling around.

The celebrity cameos of Seth Green and Matt Stone did not add anything to the movie, nor were they particularly funny. They just seemed to be there. There were also cameos featuring members of real-life jam bands, but I shower and pay taxes, so I didn't recognize them.

The story is fun, and you get into it. You want them to succeed. The best part of the film as a whole is when they attempt to record a CD, as it really delves into how neurotic musicians can be and it features a cameo by Dian Bachar (Squeak from BASEketball and vastly unutilized in Hollywood). A rock and roll psychologist is also brought in to try to help the band, as a hippie mirror to the troubles Metallica had. All the funniest bits occur when Electric Apricot meets with him, and I found myself laughing the most at those pieces.

Electric Apricot is a movie that strikes me more as a cult film more than a movie everyone will like. It will definitely help if you are into the jam scene, or if you really think This is Spinal Tap is funny for some reason. Me personally? I wasn't disappointed, but I wouldn't watch it again for any reason. A one-timer for me.

FINAL VERDICT
B-




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