Perhaps you only know Jay Baruchel from his starring roles in How to Train Your Dragon or Man Seeking Woman. Perhaps you only know him from his supporting roles in Apatow joints like This Is the End or Knocked Up. But what you might not know about Baruchel is that he is a purveyor and creator of grindhouse-leaning horror cinema, a wholly Canadian combination of John Carpenter and David Cronenberg. His latest film in that mold, which he directed, co-wrote, and co-stars in, is called Random Acts of Violence. Though the red-band trailer hints at a bit more of a plan than may seem.
Jesse Williams is a famous comic book creator, known for his macabre “Slasherman” series about a serial killer. When he gets a particular case of writer’s block, he embarks on an inspirational road trip with his wife Jordana Brewster, assistant Niamh Wilson, and best friend Baruchel. But what happens when horrific acts of carnage start happening around them? Acts of carnage that seem a helluva lot like the frames Williams himself wrote and drew?
The film, adapting a graphic novel from Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti and lensed in stylistically washed out colors, looks to promise both imaginative sequences of surreal mayhem and self-aware, audience indicting intellectual provocations of our relationship between art and violence. It’s a tricky tightrope to walk, and one I’m not quite sure the trailer communicates well, quickly cutting between too many images to let one stick. Will this film become a new cult hit or the latest in a line of underseen low-budget horror flicks? You’ll get to find out when it hits Shudder this summer.
Check out both the red-band and green-band trailers and official synopsis for Random Acts of Violence below. The film comes to Shudder August 20, 2020. For more on Mr. Baruchel, check out our interview with him.
Comic book creator Todd Walkley (Jesse Williams), his wife Kathy (Jordana Brewster), assistant Aurora (Niamh Wilson) and best friend, Hard Calibre Comics owner Ezra (Jay Baruchel), embark upon a road trip from Toronto to NYC comic con and bad things start to happen—people start getting killed. It soon becomes clear that a crazed fan is using Todd’s “SLASHERMAN” comic as inspiration for the killings and as the bodies pile up, and Todd’s friends and family become victims themselves, Todd will be forced to take artistic responsibility. Directed by Jay Baruchel.