Film and TV

DVDs & Blu-rays: Does the The FP Live Up to the Hype?

The FP stars Jason Trost and Lee Valmassy; Jason Trost wrote and directed it.

We want to answer the big question right up front: Is The FP worth your time and money. Our answer: a resounding maybe?

The best description The FP came in The New York Times, which said the film was like "Walking Tall with shoulder pads." We're not sure if they meant the 1973 version of Walking Tall with Joe Don Baker, or the 2004 version with Dwayne Johnson (who, of course, had his own built in shoulder pads), but either way, The FP pales in comparison, mostly because it tries too hard - much, much too hard - to be the instant cult classic its creators intended it to be.

Does it have its moments of fun? Yes. Does it skewer the low-budget midnight movie genre? Absolutely. Will it take a place in B-movie history? We're going to guess yes, but for the wrong reason. Not because it's fun to watch, but because it's a perfect example of why formula films, no matter what the formula, are doomed to fail if they lack a spark of originality.

The plot is simple enough: It's the near future and gangs have taken to dance-offs instead of drive-bys. BTRO (Brandon Barrera) is the dance champ for one gang, L Dubba E (Lee Valmassy) for the other. They're fighting over control of Frazier Park, known as The FP. When BTRO dies (yes, dancing can be deadly), JTRO (Jason Trost) leaves the scene, only to return a year later as the gang's only hope to beat L Dubba E total domination. You can fill in the rest from there.

Jason Trost, who stars as JTRO, the hero of the story, also conceived the story, wrote and directed it. Brother Brandon Trost handled cinematographer duties, sister Sarah Trost designed the over-the-top costumes and father Ron Trost handled special effects and was an executive producer.

They all did a good enough job (that's the yes part), but the hype about The FP becoming an instant cult classic overshadows their efforts when it fails to do so (that's the no part, and hence our resounding maybe).

There's a lesson to be learned by the Trost family's efforts, hype can do as much damage as it does good if the film doesn't live up to expectations. The FP might have become a midnight film favorite on its own, but with terms like "instant cult classic" being thrown around before audiences even saw it, it all feels a bit forced.

Extras on the DVD/Blu-ray include the featurette The Making of the FP, audio commentary by the Trost brothers, interviews with costume designer Sarah Trost and composer George Holdcroft and a special collector's edition booklet with an introduction by director Rob Zombie.

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Olivia Flores Alvarez