Man, if you don’t understand Tristan Patterson’s documentary Dragonslayer, then you just don’t get it. Some might say that the verite-style look at a washed-up punk skater, Josh “Screech” Sandoval, is pointless, but that’s the point, man. Why do films have to go somewhere? Why do they have to mean something? Why do they have to be entertaining, or engrossing, or fascinating? Why do you have to care about the characters? You think there needs to be a “reason” to make a film? Dude, “reasons” are just random constructs created by Corpro-fascists to keep us all locked in our tiny little worlds of Starbucks and prepackaged meals.
Are there dragons in Dragonslayer? No, man. Dragons aren’t real. Dragonslayer is real. Like, in your face real. It’s about this guy, Screech, who like rides around on his skateboard all day in abandoned swimming pools out in California. He, like, used to be a pretty good skateboarder but all that practice was a drag. Plus, he knocked up his old lady, which was cool, but she made him wash his hands before he picked up the baby because she didn’t want all the smell of “skater stuff and cigarettes” irritating the little guy. So, Screech left her, and hopefully the little guy will understand one day when he grows up and realizes what a bitch his mom is.
Screech later meets a 19-year-old girl who tolerates him pretty well, even though she looks pretty disgusted by him most of the time, like when he’s drunk and slurring his words and breathing his stale breath all over her. She’s, like, his muse. And they, you know, bum around and stuff, smoke cigarettes, get high, drink, and hang out. They’re like that paper bag in American Beauty, just floating around. Only, they’re like people. So much beauty, man.
That’s it. Nothing happens in Dragonslayer, but that’s exactly the point. It’s like a metaphor for life: In our own way, we’re all, like, unkempt, irresponsible jackasses who sponge off of other people, live in tents in the back yard of our friends’ houses, and ditch our children because they’re, like, so much effort, man. But it’s cool. We still end up with a fairy-tale ending, working for minimum wage at a bowling alley and living with an old man with seed ticks in his beard who, like, plays drums and smokes the same brand we do. A real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, right?
So, check it out when it hits your local indie theater. It’s a raw, unflinching portrait of laziness and fecklessness featuring boring, apathetic people doing tiresome uninteresting things directed by a guy who probably went to film school. Dragonslayer is must see!