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Because it’s 2019, and because we are a lost culture with absolutely zero hope, there is a movie called Cuck: The Movie.
At first glance, it appears to be some sort of satire. It’s hard to tell if it’s left-wing trolling of how they perceive right-wing people to be, or if it’s right-wing trolling of how they think left-wing people perceive them. But it’s definitely horrible/awesome.
According to the movie website First Showing, the film’s plot goes something like this: “When a frustrated loner gains popularity as an alt-right vlogger, the online echo chamber he finds solace in turns his insecurities into a deadly rage. The term ‘cuck’ (while also a sexual kink term) in this case means a man who is desperate for acceptance, approval, and affection from women.”
Besides getting the definition of cuck entirely wrong, the entire premise is either a) lame, or b) politically and culturally tone-deaf, or both. The term cuckold is derived from the old French, referencing the practice of a cuckoo bird laying eggs in another birds nest. It has come to mean a man who has been emasculated, and in a broader cultural sense, has been applied to men competing with other men for internet attention and cultural relevance.
The director, Rob Lambert, said that his inspiration came from movies like Taxi Driver. “I didn’t set out to make a political film, and I don’t like films that are trying to influence me. As a filmmaker I strive to make presentational films versus propaganda films, however, this subject and film will undoubtedly move and upset a lot of people. From my perspective, we made a movie based on real stories, paralleling real life and the events that play out in real-time, month after month.” One gets the sense that the alienation and loneliness of this first-time feature-length director may be mirrored in the principle character here.
Perhaps this is a genuine attempt to capture a cultural moment in an apolitical way. But the trailer does not look promising. In fact, much like poor Travis Bickle, the protagonist seems like a guy who very few people would like. He is hard to relate to because his entire emotionally reality appears to be based in anger. While many of us are angry these days, this seems like a particularly cringe-worthy expression of that fact.
We’re all for artistic self expression, and hope this will be more than a film about how to take your anger and run with it until you hate everyone and everyone hates you. Perhaps Lambert doesn’t know if this film is more right-wing or left-wing, or if it’s more likely to drive people from one fold into the other or the other way around. He may think he knows, but he may be surprised.
So much of the media that we see on the topic of right-wing vloggers, and Twitter trolls, and coming from that sector, lacks any sense of humour or self-awareness. Yes, there are some radicalized right-wing trolls who spew disgusting, hateful stuff on the internet. But this movie could have easily been made about a radicalized Antifa goon as well. Indeed, just the other day anti-racism specialist Daryl Davis, an African-American man who has deradicalized over 200 former KKK members was called a white supremacist by New Jersey Antifa bros.
You guys, while all this stuff in the culture wars can be very serious, a lot of it is also pretty funny. All of this anger and outrage is, in a certain light, hilarious. Imagine a movie filtered through a different political lens called Antifred about an equally angry and disaffected young man chasing imaginary racists across the internet. Equal level of cringe.
The trope of the angry young man, so popular in 1950’s era drama, is making a comeback. Only now, instead of the mysterious and dashing young man who women want to rush in and save, we have angry young men in dirty shirts who complain that they don’t have equitable access to sex and influence. This is hardly a story worth returning to. Unless maybe Cuck: The Movie is all satire. In which case hopefully, it can poke a little fun at itself.
All we know for certain at this point is this—Cuck: The Movie looks like quite possibly the worst movie ever made. It promises to be the Sharknado of political movies and we can’t wait to watch it.