Movie Review: Escape from Tomorrow

When a movie's official poster depicts Mickey Mouse's gloved hand dripping with blood, you know things are about to get real, or rather surreal in this case. From newcomer director Randy Moore comes Escape from Tomorrow, a daring work of filmmaking that most likely has a very slippery road ahead of itself. Filmed mostly onsite at both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida, Escape from Tomorrow is sweeping the festival scene because of its dark, surrealist content and style, and especially its bold techniques. Using these guerilla filmmaking techniques, Moore and his cast and crew put together the film completely under the nose of park security and without permission from the Walt Disney Company.

The plot centers on the father of a vacationing family. He has recently been laid off from his job and is trying his best to withhold this information from his family as they spend time in a land “where dreams come true.”

He eventually takes his daughter on rides while pursuing two beautiful pre-teen French girls thƒroughout the park. As the theme park starts to take a toll on him and reality and fantasy seem to blur together, things get even stranger. I don't want to give too much away, but he starts seeing things such as Disney princesses alternating as hookers for Asian business executives, and even brainwashing conspiracies.

The film has had very little official marketing apart from a trailer, a theatrical poster and a clip, which has since been removed from pretty much every site that offered it. Thankfully, the Internet and news sources have given it quite a bit of attention to stir up interest.

The trailer itself includes a quote from a HitFix article.

“A film that should not exist by any rational definition,” it reads.

This type of promotion is sure to instigate some curiosity, especially considering the film's unique and risky production history, and its seemingly irreverent, or perhaps innovative, handling of Disney, a powerful icon of innocence and youth.

Another interesting aspect of the film's promotion is the very beginning of its official trailer, with a parody of the Motion Picture Association of America's “green band.”

“The following motion picture has not been approved for all audiences by the Walt Disney Company,” it reads.

This is an honest declaration for sure, and it's definitely going to build some controversy.

Speaking of controversy, the Walt Disney Company has yet to take action against the film. They have remained silent for now, which is probably a better strategy than taking Moore and company right to court, because doing so would only create more publicity for Escape from Tomorrow. But it's inevitable that a confrontation in the form of lawsuits will come about eventually.

I, for one, think Escape from Tomorrow is a grand experiment in independent filmmaking, and it puts the previously unknown director Moore on the grid as an artist to watch out for. Whether or not Disney takes action against him for his guerilla efforts, Moore has created what seems to be a cult classic on the rise. Hopefully it will get more attention as it continues its circuit through theaters and festivals, and if the “Imagineers” over at Disney decide to lawyer up, so be it. They'd only be helping the film's reputation. A lawsuit would definitely make things more interesting, that's for sure.