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Kaboom 

A campus-set horror-comedy with lots of bed-hopping is an awkward mix

click to enlarge 12_kaboom.jpg

Ah, college -- it's all parties, hook-ups and scary cultists wearing animal masks. At least it is in the irreverent universe of writer-director Gregg Araki (Doom Generation). His latest film, a colorful, if low-budget, indie, plays like a mash-up of sex-filled campus comedies and wink-wink neo-horror like Scream topped off with a cultish apocalyptic film of your choice. 

Smith (Thomas Dekker) is getting his groove on, pining for his hot surfer roomie, Thor (Chris Zylka), while enjoying the ministrations of a very game young lady named London (Juno Temple). His best pal, an acerbic lesbian named Stella (Haley Bennett), frets that her latest lady love might be a witch. Running beneath all the bed-hopping are Smith's freaky dreams, which seem to tie in with a co-ed's disappearance.

The jumble, while mildly entertaining, doesn't quite work. Just as I'm appreciating shirtless hotties sorting out their sexuality, there's a murderous vision. In fairness, all the disparate threads do tie together ultimately, but not in a particularly satisfying manner. The acting, dialogue and pacing feel amateurish (perhaps intentionally?), and Araki should win a prize for Most Rushed Ending. Starts Fri., March 25. Harris

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