Tribeca Review: Zonad

Imagine, if you will, that following a night of stargazing, you and your family return home to find that your living room has been trashed. What’s more, the man responsible is a red latex bodysuit wearing fat-ass passed out on the floor. What do you do? Well, if your last name is Cassidy and you live in the small, fictional Irish hamlet known as Ballymoran, then you label him an extraterrestrial and treat him as though he is the second coming of Christ.

Such is the story of Zonad, whose title character (Simon Delaney) is a petty criminal who has broken out of court ordered rehabilitation for alcohol abuse and manages to convince an entire town that he's from another galaxy. Balancing satire somewhere between The Andy Griffith Show and the worst episodes of The Outer Limits, Zonad cons and exploits the town in every way possible, from free drinks at the local pub to deflowering young school girls, most notably the eager Jenny Cassidy (Janice Byrne). The man has found heaven on Earth, that is, until a fellow escapee (David Pearse), whom Zonad ditched at first opportunity, tracks him down and tries out the same act.

Written and directed by John and Kieren Carney – the former having gained notoriety from the 2006 film Once - the film and its characters never give you a chance to breathe, whether we're watching the main character practice all sorts of raunchiness and vulgarity, or having the head of the local police force pee on two excommunicated members of the community who have their doubts about Zonad’s story. While calling the film immature is likely an understatement (though not an insult), the Zonad succeeds in lampooning the stereotypical view of the Irish as genial alcoholics.

Leading the pack is Delaney, whose performance makes the film. The character is pure hormones and while you resist the urge to think about how he fits into his far-too-snug costume, his the man is able to get belly-laughs from gratuitous stares at cleavage and songs performed in classrooms about wanting to “get to the bottom” of every girl in town. He’s disgusting, wild and knows how to take a crotch shot. What more do you need?

With a running time of only 80 minutes, the film is tight and doesn’t overplay its hand, acknowledging the strength of each joke and spending the appropriate amount of time milking it. While the satire is sharp, even opening with a Rod Serling-esque speech, overanalyzing it would only detract from its humor. Turn off your brain and watch a fake alien get belligerently drunk and score with innocent school girls.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.