- Ghosts of Empire Prairie (2013) Review

Title: Struggled Reagans

Also known as:

Year: 2014

Genre: Independent / Comedy / Sci-fi / Fantasy

Language: English

Runtime: 75 min

Director: Gregg Golding

Writer: Gregg Golding


6 young adults are traumatized by a horrible event in their life which creates a tumor in the collective unconscious. They're then called upon to rid the collective unconscious of this tumor by being given powers to create a group called Struggled Reagans. Their fight has only begun, as they have to beat everything that's thrown at them to protect the tumor.

Our thoughts:
My tolerance for intentionally stupid these days is very low. There are still good ones, but the majority of them seem lazy, without a point to it and incredibly non-funny. Of course, this has to do with the fact that anyone can make a movie now, so there's not as much on stake. There are people who find these modern stupid movies a riot, but I've kinda had enough of it. Then there's another type that's frequent - those who try to out-odd everything. Filmmakers who push to make their movies as strange as possible in hopes to get called "Lynchian" (or, at least, be bound to be called "Lynchian" as that's the first word people spit out when a movie is strange). Where am I going with all of this? You thought I was reviewing a "Power Rangers" movie, right? Not quite. "Struggled Reagans" is a mix between the two I mentioned above. It's an extremely silly movie and equally pushing for the weird. Let's get into it.

The lives of 6 young adults are changed when they're traumatized in many weird ways. One girl is raped by a cucumber, one is obsessed by the BTK Killer, one is related to the infamous eye-popping lady of the internet world, you catch my drift. When these people are traumatized there's a tumor building up in the collective unconscious which has to be taken care of - and these traumatized young adults are the chosen ones. They're given powers to defeat the tumor, and become "Power Rangers"-like characters, except they're given powers and looks based on the trauma. These 6 become Aborted Fetus Reagan, Dangling Eye Cords Reagan, Vaginal Cucumber Reagan, BTK Killer Reagan, Antique Clock Gears Reagan and Dripping Sink Nosel Reagan. In true tokusatsu style, there's plenty of enemies for them to get through before ridding the collective unconscious of the tumor.

You can look at "Struggled Reagans" as a movie about where we are today, about the poison that is the internet-era, all the bullshit we're fed and how it traumatizes us to a level where we're all living with tumors of the mind. Media, fame, sex and everything else that we're force fed daily. Yes, all of this does apply to the movie, and I do appreciate that there's a thought behind it all (that's more than most). However, the movie didn't need to be this stupid and try to be this weird to say this. I can see the points made in the movie, but they end up meaning nothing to me. All I end up getting is a movie that's doing everything it can to be stupid and weird - something which didn't clash with the underlying intentions. So going into "Struggled Reagans", I honestly don't know what you should anticipate. Social commentary, or random bullshit? Beats me, I just know what I got out of it.

What else does it have to offer? To be fair, it was a nice surprise to see as gratuitous nudity in a movie that uses the "Power Rangers" style - who can be mad at that? The effects in the movie aren't very good but that's intentional. There isn't much in terms of "monsters" in this tokusatsu, but rather shitty costumes and trippy computer effects. So the stupidity does indeed go into the core of this.

I don't know what more to say about "Struggled Reagans". I didn't like it very much, but it's hard to criticise a movie that doesn't care. I have my reasons for disliking it, but this was probably exactly the movie they wanted to make. A few nude shots were a pleasant surprise, there are some jokes that are funny, but I would suggest that you only watch this if you know it's up your alley. The social commentary that lays behind all of the weird stuff isn't enough to carry the movie, so hopefully you enjoy this type of over-the-top indies.

Positive things:
- It does have something to say.
- Some nudity was a nice surprise.
- It has a joke or two that's funny.

Negative things:
- It's pushing hard for stupidity and oddity, so it doesn't really work for me.
- Despite having something to say, it's hidden behind the bullshit.

Gore: 1.5/5
Nudity: 2/5
Story: 1.5/5
Effects: 1/5
Comedy: 2/5

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