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The History Of Future Folk (2012)

Review by Nic Brown

 

Folk music. What is it? I’m not exactly sure, but like the difference between art and pornography I know it when I see it… or in this case hear it. That said, there are times when I can be surprised, even by a genre as ubiquitous as folk music. Of course it is easy to be surprised when the music is being played by a couple of aliens sent to destroy the Earth. That’s the premise for “The History of Future Folk” a film that describes itself as the best alien, folk duo, sci-fi, action, romance, comedy movie ever made. Which is fair statement considering the narrow field of the description.

 

The movie starts out with Bill (Nils d’Aulaire) telling his young daughter her favorite bedtime story, complete with crayon drawn images - the story of General Trius, the greatest warrior on the far away planet of Hondo. Trius swore as a child that he would find a way to save his people from the impending doom of a giant comet threatening to destroy them. To that end General Trius set out to find a planet suitable for his people to relocate to. That planet was Earth. For some reason Trius enters what looks like a Home Depot store where he prepares to release a deadly virus designed to wipe out all human life, making it simple for the people of Hondo to move in. Before he can push the button, he’s assaulted by something he couldn’t prepare for: music. For all its technology, Hondo is a world without music, and the in-store muzack is enough to stop Trius in his tracks. It fascinates him and derails his plans completely as he picks up a guitar and learns to play. What Bill isn’t telling his daughter Wren (Onata Aprile) is that the fairy tale is actually the true story of where Bill came from. She is the product of his love of Earth woman Holly (Julie Ann Emery).

 

Bill and Holly lead a quiet, happy life in the New York suburbs. Bill spends his nights playing at a local club where he dresses in his spaceman uniform, complete with bucket shaped helmet and sings folk songs like “Space Worms” and “I Can Not Breath Your Atmosphere” while telling the audience about life on Hondo and how lucky they are he isn’t destroying them. The act draws crowds so club owner Larry (Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider) doesn’t mind the quirkiness.


Bill spends his days commuting to a space museum built on top of a nuclear missile silo where he works on his new master plan to save Hondo, not by killing the people of Earth but by destroying the comet approaching his planet.

Of course the people of Hondo don’t know this; they only know General Trius hasn’t readied the Earth yet. They send Kevin (Jay Klaitz) to assassinate him and finish the job. However, Kevin is not a crack assassin, he’s a bit of a bumbler and Trius quickly catches him. Unfortunately, tying him up in the back shed leads to the police showing up and enough awkward and unanswered questions that Holly takes Wren and leaves Bill. Bill decides to use music to recruit Kevin to his cause and quickly has the inept spaceman not only helping, but also singing and playing guitar in the musical act. Unfortunately, Kevin was only a decoy and an alien assassin of the most dangerous sort is sent to activate the virus time bomb.

 

“The History of Future Folk” is one of the most quirky and fun science fiction films I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in years. The movie doesn’t depend on special effects or exotic locales to drive the story, being shot in and around New York City. The film relies on heart. D’Aulaire and Klaitz play their parts straight rather than going for camp, and the result is a film that’s one part comedy, one part science fiction and one part folk music video. There is a little bit of action, a bit of romance and plenty of entertaining songs to drive the movie. In fact everything the trailer promises, the film delivers on, which is a rare thing. So you may be wondering: Will Bill be able to save the Earth, Hondo and his marriage? Will Kevin find true love with the female cop who keeps trying to arrest him? Even more important though, will Bill and Kevin be able to continue playing folk music if Hondo and the Earth go to war?  You’ll have to check out “The History of Future Folk” a rare gem of simple family fun and entertainment in a science fiction world dominated by special effects, explosions and monsters. Hondo.




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