Posted by: Ben Hopkins | 24/07/2009

Sodoma Reykjavik / Remote Control

Director: Óskar Jónasson
Year: 1992

I had a few kronur remaining and sought the advice of an employee of a DVD store what film I should buy. Her patient advice was Sodoma Reykjavik, which, she explained, was a cult film that most people had seen. This was the first film I’d eliminated – the packaging looks terrible and to my English speaking eyes the title suggested some kind of niche adult filmmaking – but hey, it was evident that she knew more than I did so Sodoma Reykjavik it was.

Sodoma Reykjavik

Sodoma Reykjavik

By cult movie, I’d hoped for the Icelandic equivalent of Withnail and I or something similar. What I got was… something else.

Sodoma Reykjavik certainly ticks plenty of the cult movie boxes; fast cars (well, a couple), life-threatening homebrew, old school metalheads and a plot so vacuous that it makes similarly themed American slacker comedy The Puffy Chair seem like Primer.

The story is fairly simple; momma blames Axel (Björn Jörundur Friðbjörnsson) for losing her TV remote control. She’s fed up of a choice between Tom & Jerry or static, so Axel’s dilemma is uncomplicated – return or replace the remote, or his fish meet a grisly end with the plug hole. The remote was with his sister Maeja (Margrét Hugrún Gústavsdóttir) but it melted. The duo’s chase for a replacement is hampered by counterfeit beer baron Moli and club owner / wannabe mafia type Aggi.

A couple of IMDB reviewers suggested that the English subtitles suck and that the humour is very specifically Icelandic. It’s certainly amusing – particularly so if you like your jokes farcical, slightly surreal yet also semi-realistic – but not to the level of the great comedy that I’d been expecting, although perhaps that can be explained by the aforementioned IMDB quotes.

Sodoma Reykjavik isn’t exactly accomplished given the erratic acting, the competently executed low budget stunts and the dubious effects make-up. However its sense of individuality and general outrageousness makes for an entertaining diversion away from the norm.

A quick mention of the soundtrack. Amongst those appearing on the soundtrack are apparently legendary Icelandic hard rock band HAM, HAM off-shoot Funkstrasse and Bjork. Also credited in some kind of sound production role is Roli Mosimann – is this the same guy who produced albums from The Young Gods and Faith No More?

Sodoma Reykjavik / Remote Control can be purchased online at Nammi.

“You haven’t taken the fish out of the bath tub. And there’s fish in the kitchen sink too.”

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