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Kick Me

Kick Me

Gary Huggins · 2023 · 86 minutes
November 10 · Regal Riviera · 9:45 p.m.

A self-described “knock-knock joke ten years in the making,” Gary Huggins’ debut feature Kick Me has to be seen to be believed. The film ostensibly tells the story of a high school guidance counselor who goes into Kansas City, Kansas one night to buy a pet bunny and meet with a delinquent student before attending his daughter’s choral concert. But nothing — nothing — goes as planned.

What unfolds instead is an (often funny) nightmare freakshow featuring three-legged dogs, maniacal Winnebago-driving swingers, geriatric drug dealers, abandoned shopping malls, and jenkem huffers that makes Scorsese’s After Hours seem like a garden party.

Shot in 2012, Kick Me was selected for the IFP (now The Gotham) Narrative Lab in 2013. Now, ten years later — after a production that has its own echoes of its protagonist’s absurdly nightmarish journey — the film is complete and is a wildly bombastic addition to FILM FEST KNOX’s inaugural American Regional Film Competition. Kick Me is a cult classic just waiting to find its cult.

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