Adapted from the novel by Joseph Suglia, Watch Out chronicles the life of Jonathan Barrows, a young, intelligent, prospective professor who, completely repulsed by both sexes, falls in love with himself. Not limited to standard narcissism, Barrows’ love runs far deeper, manifesting itself through fanatical sexual acts that centre on him alone, such as masturbating over Poleroids of his own penis and taping a printout of his own face onto a male blowup doll.
We follow Barrows, aided by his hilariously arrogant voiceover, as he fights off proposals from men and women, in his hunt for a job worthy of his unparalleled intelligence and perfection.
Steve Balderson follows up his acclaimed Firecracker with this shocking social satire that is definitely not for the faint hearted. Particularly bizarre highlights include an early scene showing an eighteen-year-old Jonathan being forced into sexual intercourse with a voluptuous prostitute, as his manic parents watch excitedly with popcorn and video-cameras. MySpace sensation Matt Riddlehoover (To A Tee) injects a curious charm into Barrows, who is essentially a despicable character, and as the film progresses draws us to appreciate his unconventional trains of thought.
Watch Out presents a daring take on guerilla filmmaking; the film was shot without permits, though this is hardly its’ severest offence. It is unquestionably bold, fearless and wonderfully imaginative. You may leave the cinema feeling shocked, confused or disgusted, but by no means will you feel indifferent.
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