Directed by: Errol Morris / 1997
Replace “Cheap” with “Expensive” and “Fast, Cheap and Out of Control” would sound like a title for a movie that might relate to politics or something in today’s ‘Merica. Then again, keeping the title as is, it could be a documentary on the G. W. Bush administration's “cheap” position on human life when it comes to wars like the one we’re currently messing our foreign relations in (shoot, I just gave away my opinion) or, it could simply be a study on prostitution or something like that. Actually, “Fast, Cheap and Out of Control” is about the unique obsessions of four individuals, whose passions and lives are revealed, interviewed in-between a dizzying frantic array of old movie/stock imagery, cartoons and startling musical score all engineered under the direction of Errol Morris’ own uniquely obsession, original documentary filmmaking. Morris isn’t too far off the map of his fellow filmmaking friend Werner Herzog with this meditation on the question of mad men or geniuses, though I do think that Herzog makes better to do with such a subject and subjects. The title doesn’t really make sense when you first get a glimpse of the four subjects, who range from a Naked Mole Rat expert, a lion trainer, a garden sculptor and a robot scientist. However, it’s the robotic scientist’s research paper about sending a large amount of robots into space that the film’s title is borrowed from. “Fast, Cheap and Out of Control” is an enjoyable little ride into the minds and worlds of other people. If you think you’ve got some strangeness in your life, you might either want to think again or find yourself in like-minded company snuggled up with this peculiar gem.