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Benjamin, home-schooled by his eccentric mother, is a loveable loner whose passion for writing leads him on an offbeat and hilarious journey as his story first gets ripped off by the legendary fantasy novelist, Ronald Chevalier and then is adapted into a disastrous movie by the small town's most prolific homespun filmmaker.
Comedy - Like director Jared Hess's other two films, this is a very quirky
comedy aimed at a young adult audience. The film may be a bit too
strange for most mainstream audiences. Some mature humor make the
film inappropriate for younger audiences.
(Michael Angarano), a 17-year-old science fiction prodigy, lives in a geodesic dome in Utah
with his mother (Jennifer Coolidge), an aspiring nightgown designer working on a line
she calls "Decent Beginnings."
As a homeschooler, Benjamin doesn't have much experience in the real world,
but his imagination takes him to fantastical worlds far from the drab small town in which
he lives. When he finds out that his idol, sci-fi legend Dr. Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine
Clement) will be
teaching at Cletus Festival ("the best writers camp in Utah"), it's the chance of a lifetime
for the young author. He packs up his best manuscript, Yeast Lords: The Bronco Years,
and sets out to fulfill his destiny. There he meets some new, equally misfit friends—
budding romance novelist Tabatha (Halley Feiffer) and adolescent auteur Lonnie (Hector
Jimenez), a filmmaker with more than 80 "films" to his credit.
Benjamin's attendance at the festival has two stunning results. His novel is
optioned by Lonnie to be made into a full-length, lower-than-low budget motion picture,
and Chevalier himself is so impressed by Benjamin's work that, in a desperate ploy to
save his own career, he decides to make a few minor changes in the manuscript and
publish it as his own novel, The Chronicles of Brutus and Balzaak.
As Benjamin's world catapults into a series of bizarre wrong turns, the story of
Yeast Lords is seen in three different points of view: Benjamin's original story,
Chevalier's bastardized version, and Lonnie's low-fi film adaptation. These three
renditions are a celebration of the ridiculous world of cult science fiction films. Sam
Rockwell turns in a pair of hilarious performances as Bronco/Brutus, who alongside his
childhood best friend, Vanaya/Venonka (Suzanne May), heroically take on the evil
overlords of the yeast factory in a desperate effort to save civilization.