Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim created cult comic universes with their TV series Tom Goes to the Mayor, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and its sort of spin-off, the John C. Reilly-starring Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule.
Billion Dollar Movie is the pair’s first feature film, which made its debut on streaming services and at Sundance Film Festival, where audiences were both repulsed and infected with their weird, absurdist world of lo-fi public access production, eccentric characters, and rapid, darkly surreal humor. The film’s plot finds the duo’s spray-tanned Hollywood alter egos running from their L.A. lives when they blow the Schlaaang Corporation’s $1 billion investment on a three-minute film and a spiritual guru (Zach Galifianakis), and wind up running a wolf-infested freakshow mall owned by a spaced out suburban cowboy (Will Ferrell).
Its businesses sell used toilet paper, swords (Will Forte’s “E-Z Swords”), and new age healing (Twin Peaks’ Ray Wise guides our heroes with the power of “shrim”). Meanwhile, Tommy Schlaaang (Robert Loggia) sets his sights on finding and murdering Tim and Eric, who push their relentless lunacy over comedy’s edges.
The duo's off-camera promotional whirlwind is half the fun, though. Tim and Eric revealed a Rango conspiracy, and unleashed an overblown, Hollywood cliche, explosion-filled and orchestral metal-backed trailer...
... and dozens of horrible reviews came from from hilariously lost critics, they appeared on bizarre press calls on local networks (or the Huffington Post), and started a campaign to get audiences to sign the "BDM Pledge" to see the film (and not The Lorax). Their famous friends and fellow comics made the pledge — there's James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, Josh Groban, Aziz Ansari, Fred Armisen, Andy Samberg, Rashida Jones, Elijah Wood and several others, including Paul Rudd:
The film opens 9 p.m. Saturday, April 7 and runs nightly through April 12 at Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center (1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 827-5858).