Have you ever stopped along the highway at a rest-stop bathroom? If so, you know what a disgusting, even harrowing, experience it can be.
Following some sort of breakup with his girlfriend, Brenda (Sylvia Grace Crim – “The Hunt”), Wes (Ryan Kwanten – “True Blood”) is driving a lonely stretch of highway. Reminders of Brenda are in the car with him.
He pulls into a rest stop and basically has a wild breakdown, burning his belongings (including his pants) – everything but a photo of Brenda and a stuffed bear she gave him. He also consumes most of a fifth of whiskey.
When he awakens early the next morning, he enters the men’s room to violently vomit in the filthy toilet. As he does so, a voice from the next stall asks, “Everything all right over there, my friend?”
And away we go.
“Glorious” was directed by Rebekah McKendry (“All the Creatures Were Stirring”) from a screenplay by husband David Ian McKendry and others. It is an exciting, raunchy and, at times, terrifying romp through the possibilities that a chance encounter can change, or even end, your life.
There is a puckish humor throughout that lightens the mood at just the right times. And there are those times, because the voice from the next stall is that of a demi-god named Ghat (J.K.Simmons – “Little Brother”). Simmons is an Oscar-winning actor and ubiquitous – even more so than Nick Cage – who plays the wise, professorial character in the State Farm Insurance commercials. His familiar voice gives a stately presence to what is otherwise a globular nightmare.
Having told you all this, you might think this is a cheesy straight-to-streaming horror flick. And it is, but it’s also more. Like any GOOD story, it is a character exploration based on a protagonist put in an unusual position and having to deal with it. And as we explore Wes’s character, it appears this isn’t exactly the chance meeting it first seemed.
The premise is far fetched, but the writing, direction, performances and photography all are excellent. And, there is a delicious, ironic twist at the end.
Is this a movie worth spending time viewing? Well, considering it deals with a threat to all life and reality as we know it, maybe.
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