The musical duo Die Antwoord, consisting of Ninja and Yo-lani Vesser, are no strangers to horror. Their music/life style known as Zef inherently pushes the envelope of what is acceptable. Their self-directed music videos use many images that are often considered taboo or disturbing. Now that the duo announced that they are no longer making albums together, they turn their focus to other creative endeavors. Tommy Cant Sleep is the first film the duo has made since their announcement. While it was Ninja who directed most of their music videos, Yo-lani is behind the camera directing and co-editing Tommy. Teaming up once again with friend and collaborator Jack Black.
“TOMMY CANT SLEEP because there’s rats in his room and his stupid fuckin dumb bitch mom doesn’t believe him.”
A short film by Die Antwoord. Starring 16 Jones and Jack Black. Directed by ¥o-landi Vi$$er. Art directed by Roger Ballen. Miend usic by The Black Goat.
The duo has always had a clear inspiration from David Lynch’s shorts as well as early films like Eraserhead and it is on full display here, from the mother screaming about mundane concerns for sleep to the style choices of the camera work and sound design. The film is reminiscent of early Lynch if did his own version of Willard but with the crassness/style of Zef. The film is a little slow in the beginning, but begins to pick up once Tommy starts talking to the Rat Girl and is promised a world that features guns, boobies, homosexuals, and more, all for 13 bucks. Down in the rat’s hole we are introduced to contorted celebration that spans Tommy’s life.
The short is weird, crass, and the over all creepy nightmare tone of the film makes for a fun time. Whether it’s the mother’s over the top screaming for sleep, to adult Tommy ratted out and spray painting penises on the kitchen wall, to the music Created by The Black Goat, Tommy Cant Sleep is a fun introduction to the next chapter of Die Antwoord and the Zef style of filmmaking.
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