Movie Watch: The Bad Batch

It’s okay if you have not heard of Ana Lily Amirpour yet. She only has one movie released so far, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, a self-described “Iranian vampire Western” shot in Persian somewhere outside Buttonwillow (a favorite stop for travelers of Interstate 5 between Los Angeles and the Bay Area), which grossed less than a million dollars when it was released three years ago. But it should be a sign of how visionary her little movie was that her follow-up, The Bad Batch, should be able to land stars like Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves, Diego Luna and Jim Carrey, and get financed by one of the best producers working today, Megan Ellison.

The Bad Batch, which opens in select theatres on June 23rd, follows Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) after she’s left in a Texas wasteland fenced off from civilization. While trying to navigate the unforgiving landscape, Arlen is captured by a savage band of cannibals led by the mysterious Miami Man (Jason Momoa). With her life on the line, she makes her way to The Dream (Keanu Reeves). As she adjusts to life in ‘the bad batch’ Arlen discovers that being good or bad mostly depends on who’s standing next to you.

Amirpour has described The Bad Batch as “a post-apocalyptic cannibal love story set in a Texas wasteland” where a “muscled cannibal breaks the rule ‘don’t play with your food'” and “It’s Road Warrior meets Pretty in Pink with a dope soundtrack.” She has also described it as “very violent” and “very romantic” and like “El Topo meets Dirty Dancing”.

Hell yes!

And The Bad Batch is being distributed by Neon, the new distribution arm created by Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League, whose first film Colossal with Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis, has been a smash with critics and has been doing steady business for two months despite never playing on more than 326 screens.

Follow our Early Report throughout June and July to find out where and when it may be playing in a theatre near you.

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  • Claudia Trent

    Is this the movie that a filmgoer in Chicago pointed out the treatment of black characters?

    • Edward Havens

      I don’t know. Your comment came nearly a week before the movie opened, and I am not aware of any pre-release screenings of the film in the Chicago area.