Whimsy & Hester
Review by Mark Schwab
March 28th, 2018
Right out of the gate, WHIMSY & HESTER sets the ground rules of what is to come. In the opening sequence, conjoined twins Whimsy and Hester are hanging out with their friend Heidi who shows them graphic images from (I assume) a gay porn magazine, helpfully giving backstory as to the model's endowment in various stages of arousal. Whimsy and Hester appear shocked and ignorant establishing them as sexually naive. Heidi turns the page to another naked young man, making sure to place her finger directly on his dick (in close up of course), more shocked expressions, hard cut to hot dogs on a bbq grill. Yeah....I laughed. This combination of brutal vulgarity and feigned outrage proves a potent cocktail in writer/producer/director Jeffrey Garcia's wonderfully grotty and gleefully offensive 21-minute short film that you'd probably find in a blank DVD case in a bin at the 99-cent store. Then later on you'd crack open a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon to celebrate the amazing luck of your find.
The plot is simple - after becoming intrigued by Heidi's porn mag, high schoolers Whimsy & Hester become determined to lose their virginity by prom. The movie sort of documents their attempts to pull this off but this is no AMERICAN PIE. In fact, it's much better and far more subversive as we meet all the whacked-out denizens surrounding them - some helping them, others standing in the way of their deflowering. As bizarre as the conjoined twins might seem (not looking anything alike and always dressed in nightgowns), they are the most "normal" and coherent compared to everyone else they cross paths with. Don't even get me started on their parents (played hilariously by Grace Marlow and Furly Travis) who give new meaning to the term "fucked up parents".
Garcia crafts...yes, I'll say it...crafts...his scenes with surreal and absurdist humor that aims to offend but somehow never comes off as vicious. Also, impressively, every single character that comes on screen is memorable in their own way. They all manage to land a punch of unique-fisted grossness that cracked me up. I'm not sure what the hell is going on down in San Marcos, Texas (where Jeffrey Garcia hails from) but it seems to be fertile ground for Americana Grotesque-style satire that WHIMSY & HESTER exploits to the fullest.
Yes, the film looks, sounds and feels cheap. I can't deny it (the mind reels at the idea of what he'd do with an actual budget). But I also didn't give a shit. The film is funny and even better it's actually "smart" funny. Jeffrey Garcia knows what he is doing here and utilizing his zero budget perfectly (as well as a supremely game cast) in the service of his warped world. WHIMSY & HESTER is an explicit and bracing little act of cinematic vandalism that I appreciated completely.
I encourage you to check out his website where he has more short films, music videos and other cool stuff. - http://www.jeffreygarciaartist.com/