The plot is "nuttier than squirrel s**t", to quote one of the characters, and revolves around the life of Thomas Dekker's randy student Smith. Frequently under the influence of substances and constantly craving homoerotic dalliances with his roomie Thor, Smith's life is thrown into turmoil when he sees a redheaded girl from one of his cryptic dreams killed by a group of men wearing animal masks. Along with his best friend Stella (Haley Bennett), who is busy fending off a lesbian witch's superpowers, he seeks to uncover the truth - only to stumble upon a widespread conspiracy that involves some staggering revelations about his friends, f**k buddies and family. But what elements are real and what parts are hallucinations? As if they're gonna tell us...
Although it lacks the same dramatic impact as his earlier masterpiece Mysterious Skin, Araki triumphs through his unwavering desire to throw various genres, surrealism, pop trash culture and psycho-sexual ruminations at the viewer. An abundance of madcap verbal humour from the student characters, well-versed in a filthy derivative of Joss Whedon's 'Buffyspeak', provides much mirth and helps to prevent a cerebral meltdown while you try to unravel the story developments. After all, how can you not lap up dialogue that contains phrases such as "sucking a fart out of a dead seagull's ass"?
Well, the truth is that the punchy editing and confident delivery by the young cast helps to sell an abundance of such scatological gems. Perhaps the highlight is when Smith's random acquaintance and orgasm inducer London (the impressive Juno Temple) equates a poor and noisy proponent of cunnilingus to someone trying to wolf down a bowl of spaghetti - while the chap in question is still 'down there'. As the tormented male lead, Thomas Dekker delivers a seductive and empathetic performance that plays a vital role in gluing all the disparate elements together while the plot veers off into more bizarre realms with each scene. The killer soundtrack helps the flow too.
A lack of narrative answers and dominance of dream logic are synonymous with the works of David Lynch. Although Araki's movie is not in the same stylistic, thematic or inspired league, it's wise to approach Kaboom in the same manner as one would for a Lynch effort. Try not to judge it on the basis of what it isn't - namely a formulaic 'cause and effect' narrative with decent production values and a satisfying resolution - and instead enjoy the audacious, electrifying and subversive components thrown at the audience in scattergun style. That is the best way to experience such a beautiful nightmare.