Hipster Holocaust should grab attention, if only for the name. “Hipster” is still a hot-button word; combine that with unchecked bloodshed and you're probably onto something.
The film, which premieres tonight in L.A. at Laemmle's Royal Theatre, is the story of two working class goons who wind up at a party in a hipster-infested mansion.
Problems arise for the hipsters — the violent kind. The film works in the tradition of such gore fests as Cannibal Holocaust and Zombie Holocaust.
Hipster Holocaust is the work of writer-director William Burgess, who made it on a shoestring budget of $3,000.
But, as music writers who constantly encounter folks who are presumably hipsters at shows — not that they would ever admit it — we at West Coast Sound wonder: What is a hipster?
Burgess defines them as, basically, people who don't express themselves honestly, people who are just going with whatever's popular in the alt-world. “It's a question of being internal or external,” he says. “If you live externally, then it's dishonest.” One example is people who go to clubs and shows and are too cool to dance. “But People Who Don't Dance Holocaust would be a bad title for a movie,” he jokes.
Burgess, who is 30 and lives in Silver Lake, says he wrote the film after a period in Echo Park when he got dumped, lost his job and was on unemployment. He got drunk every night and wrote a script in a week and a half. He's in a bicycle club, but swears he doesn't ride a fixed gear. Hold on a sec, this all sounds very … ah, there's the rub. When asked if he's a hipster himself, Burgess demurs, “You can call me what you like, just don't call me late for dinner.”
But Burgess maintains that as long as your motivations come from individuality, you can do whatever you want. Sometimes that leads to art, music and activism, which Burgess is cool with, though he's “completely and diametrically opposed to just reflecting society.”
“That doesn't progress society, you have to kick in,” he says. To him, a cookie-cutter indie kid is just as bad as a 1950s husband who comes home and complains about the roast being cold. So perhaps there are elements of hipster culture that deserve the firing squad, and others that are worthy of preserving.
Yet he is counting on hipsters to see his flick. And they probably will. After all, who's most likely go to see a film about hipsters being killed? But it's not as simple as people being able to laugh at themselves; there's an element of denial at work — they may be delusional enough to think that this isn't about them, it's about everyone else.
Perhaps there will be that trademark apathy, but one thing is for certain: It's not going to make anyone angry. Emotion just isn't cool these days.