At once a homemade concert movie for reggae rock band Sheeppsyche and a dystopian protest against synthetic art, “Ximbi Xombix” plays as a bag of anti-system tenets whose contents have been marinated in self-indulgent incoherence. A poorly produced experiment by writer-director Dae Hoon Kim, also the act’s lead singer on- and offscreen, the film’s mere existence baffles.
In an alternate reality, altered food feeds the masses, grunge group Nirvana goes by Sirvana and K-pop is referred to as K-hop in the days leading to the world’s demise. Affluent yet radical in his conviction against mainstream music, Rocco (Kim himself) initially opposes former pop star Jo Bin (Claudia Pak) joining Sheeppsyche’s ranks. In time she primes the band to accept a dubious deal to drag their tracks out of the underground and into the moneymaking industry. Rocco’s art-before-commerce mentality is disrupted.
Stiff to a fault, the egregious acting harms the scenes even worse than the embarrassingly low-quality sound mix. Kim strings together musical performances in front of lethargic audiences, a nonsensical virtual reality segment, clips from parody television shows, extras in visibly inexpensive zombie makeup, and a defective core message calling out consumerism and mindless compliance. It never congeals but employs a diverse roster of people.
Named after one of the group’s songs, though with a modified spelling, the grassroots filmic enterprise results in an incompetent mishmash surely born from a misguided impetus: “What if we make a movie about ourselves.” Hardly good enough to show friends in private as a “cool” enthusiast effort, “Ximbi Xombix” fails to warrant commercial exhibition.
Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes
Playing: Starts Nov. 15, Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills