God's Petting You Review

Heroin addict Charlie (George Webster) has been going to group therapy, though secretly showing up just to meet with his dealer. When a young woman joins the therapy session Charlie finds himself explicitly drawn to her, but as they get to know each other better he finds out she is a sex addict, leading the two to develop a lustful relationship. After learning she has an abusive boyfriend, who makes a living off of his gargantuan cock in the porn industry, the two decide to rob him to start life anew. British director Jamie Patterson (Fractured, Tucked) takes his past experience in horror and comedy to craft a dark comedy full of “Sex, Drugs & Cock and Balls” in God’s Petting You.

The narrative of God’s Petting You is one that has been approached ad nauseam, two down and out individuals find each other and decide to commit a crime to free themselves of their woes. The formula has long lost its potency and Jamie Patterson does little to deviate from the tried and true formula. However, leaning on comedic wit, Patterson crafts a dark and disturbing comedy that manages to hit the mark.

More disturbing than laugh-out-loud humor (unless a bloodied man getting dick slapped makes you giggle), the comedy comes from the hopeless antics of two rebellious personalities. Both Charlie and the ‘tattooed woman’, have strong personas that when pushed into violence show a cool calm veneer melt into awkwardness. Buying a gun from an American and accidentally causing a shootout to the previously mentioned dick-slap, the two begin to fail upward towards their freedom from drugs and abuse.

Both George Webster and Skye Lourie are a treat to watch as they indulge in their character’s eccentricities. Webster as Charlie, in particular, jumps between outward confidence into cowardice when treading unfamiliar ground. This is egged on by the more action-oriented ‘tattooed girl’ that challenges his occasional showboating of pseudo-masculinity and pushes him to actually act on his words. In addition to the main performers a couple of smaller parts, including cult comedian Joe Wilkison as a drug dealer and the brilliant Alice Lowe (Prevenge, Sightseers) as a psychiatrist, play to the perception of the film highlighting the best of British comedy.

Despite its comedic prowess, the film does tackle low-hanging fruit and toxic personalities that will dissuade some viewers. Fans of Richard Bates Jr. (King Knight, Trashfire, Excision) or Trent Haaga’s 68 Kill are likely to appreciate the peculiar and dark flow of humor in God’s Petting You–though Pattison lacks the absurdism that gives a lighter edge to the previously mentioned directors. Additionally, the film’s conclusion is easy to see coming and does lack a degree of creativity. Essentially, the work is a bleaker and straightforward (how very British) take on a formula that has resulted in cult success for American filmmakers.

If you come to God’s Petting You willing to cheer on some flawed, toxic personas you will have a blast with the film–don’t be such a prude! However, its rather dry and disturbing tone won’t capture a broader audience outside of cult fandom. Just go in knowing what to expect with like-minded friends and enjoy it for what it is–a dark and dirty British comedy.

We Watched God’s Petting You as Part of the 2022 Fantaspoa Film Festival

 

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