Philipp Plein, fashion's least favorite whipping boy, just premiered a shockingly bad short film.
Of course, I expect nothing less than monstrous from Plein. After all, this is the man who body-shamed a journalist to clap back at a negative show review, name-dropped Black Lives Matter to escape a lawsuit, and owns the world's tackiest mansion, very creatively dubbed "Chateau Falconview."
Thankfully, Plein's new "fashion movie," Night Games, lived up to my expectations.
In an Instagram video teasing the film's premiere, which took place at a secret location in Milan, Plein promised to "destroy" the city. He certainly did, but not in the way he thinks.
Where to begin? Directed by Steven Klein (???), the film stars celeb of the moment Megan Fox, who delivers an opening monologue that puts Lana Del Rey to shame.
An intro that bastardizes the opening of Alain Renais's Last Year at Marienbad — the New Wave classic that Coco Chanel famously costumed — tracks through Plein's gaudy mansion as Fox's disembodied voice echoes: "She was without a name. To have a name is to have an identity. But the woman lacked a permanent sense of self."
As Fox's longwinded spiel on the "dark unconsciousness of the apparatus known as human" comes to a close, viewers are accosted by a shot of Plein himself, clad in a cowboy hat and clutching a rosary, yelling something about the human body being an "orgasm machine."
The movie proceeds into series of four vignettes, or "games," that get progressively confusing. I'm not really sure what happens plot-wise, but there are lots of sequined suit jackets.
Another attempt to reference Last Year at Marienbad, a moody shot shows a group of cops and male models playing the game of Nim, a recurring theme in Resnais's original masterpiece. (Poor dude is definitely rolling in his grave.)
Things take an unexpected turn when, in the film's closing scene, viewers are introduced to a shoddily CGI'ed monster stomping about the highway. The movie offers zero context on why the mildly gross creature has suddenly dropped in and honestly, I think that's a really brave choice.
"Now you on Earth worship false idols," Night Games concludes. "The emptiness of your existence. Game over." Did we just get pwned?
The quote is attributed to a book called Markarian 421 Transmissions: A Report on Planet Earth, a seemingly self-published volume written by photographer-writer Joseph Lally. (Lally is, in fact, credited as writing the screenplay for Night Games.)
Who knows, maybe Night Games is destined for cult classic fame. However, I experienced something akin to the five stages of grief while watching it. First, denial (WTF is going on?). Then anger (someone stop this man), followed by bargaining (can we please go back to a time when Philipp Plein, the brand, didn't exist?), depression (ugh), and lastly, acceptance.
Now at peace with how objectively bad Night Games is, I can admit: it did make me laugh.