Evan Jacobs strikes again on this blog with 'The Cojones Virus', a movie which holds a rather slapstick aura about it with an eerie undertone, all building up to a harrowing conclusion that reflects some dangers of our modern world. The Jacobs franchise of films isn't exactly what I'd reference to someone looking for a deep, introspective analysis of our contemporary society and culture, but of all his films, this one is by far the most meaningful and relatable to our world today, even if greatly on the nose and unsubtle regarding the messages it's attempting to relay onto the audience. With that, here's my comprehensive review of The Cojones Virus!
Mike Hartsfield returns, this time playing a crude businessman (Chad Lutz); obsessed with making money, smoking, and bubblegum. All is going normally as Lutz travels to Phoenix with the ambition of cementing a business deal with particular clients, until he's bitten by a fly near a public restroom. As the day progresses, Lutz's genital area inflates horrifically in size, causing him excruciating pain. In spite of these injuries. Chad doesn't seem willing to let go of this financially lucrative opportunity and is determined to tame this virus by any means possible... his means, of course, which including consuming more bubblegum in the span of a few hours then any man should in a lifetime, chainsmoking, and ultimately seeking to bargain with the disease. These attempts all elicited at least a small chuckle from me, but they weren't simply banal reaches at comedy. Lutz's coping methods mentally dissuade him from seeking genuine medical help as we see midway through the film, with him callously disregarding the necessity for a doctor after believing the 'worst of it was behind him' and the Cojones Virus was subsiding. Unfortunately, he is quite wrong. At the movie's end, when he arrives to seal this deal with his clients, the Cojones Virus reaches its grisly conclusion and explode viciously, killing Chad instantly.
This movie proves to me you don't need an engorged cast and variety of filming locations to tell a story. I believe Director Jacobs' style is essentially minimalistic, using character dialogue and inferences about their personality to get crucial story points across. We don't even see another proper human character throughout the entire movie, only hearing a single other voice than Chad's (a news reporter over the radio). The engorged 'ballsacks' themselves have dialogue in the form of text which the viewer can read, but I personally believe these were simply conjured by Chad's desperate imagination after realizing the moment for medical assistance has long past. A subconscious mental mechanism by his brain to psychologically allow him to carry on, a delusion in the simplest terms. Nevertheless, we see with Director Jacobs a pattern here, in that his characters, whilst indeed they travel from place to place, mostly remain in the same general 'setting'; whether it be someone's house or inside a vehicle. This style of filmmaking works best with the stories that Evan Jacobs is trying to tell, which usually involve isolated incidents of wacky characters undergoing their trials and tribulations with the backdrop of a grander setting.
Now we cannot complete any discussion of this film without acknowledging the obvious, being the political messaging. Cojones Virus makes no attempt to hide the connections with our real world Coronavirus (they even sound uncannily similar) and how the American populace reacted, including a reference to President Trump at the movie's end. Chad's refusal to move ahead with his plan of seeing a doctor after symptoms of his ailment subsided was certainly pointing out how many simply didn't seek medical assistance given that they 'felt okay'. No matter what political ideology you subscribe untoward, and this blog and I seek to be wholly neutral in that sort of matter, one cannot deny the impact COVID-19 had on our country's economy and psychology. The Cojones Virus uses this to poke fun at those who simply didn't believe in the virus's existence or downplayed it, with the center of its criticism being a direct assault on the Anti-Masker movement via the 'Open Sack' movement, which involved large gatherings of individuals that would reveal their inflated genitals and public areas and proclaim their fearlessness in the face of this disease. Director Jacobs seems to be experimenting with more politically charged and serious movies, as we've seen with Fleas 2 and Haymaker, yet still retaining his style of minimalist filmmaking and comedy, which I'm all for. Death Toilet's ability to elicit laughter is legendary, but I see a possibility for something genuinely terrifying and thought-provoking in the future. Haymaker was an exploration into a movie without Jacobs' signature humor mixed in, and Cojones Virus and Fleas seem a merge of that sensibility combined with Haymaker's seriousness, primarily derived from the bloody ending and Chad Lutz's descent into madness.
All in all, another fun Evan Jacobs production that you should enjoy if you've the spare time. On a personal note however- I wonder if perhaps these films can't be connected somehow? Every filmmaker seems intent nowadays on undertaking the route of sequels and connected narrative, and perhaps the Jacobsverse should be no different! What I wouldn't give to see a crossover between Death Toilet's Father Dingleberry and Brett Baxter, Fleas' Bob and Quinton, Haymaker's Fixer, and Cojones Virus's Chad Lutz to all meet up together and face a massive, world-ending threat. Many of these characters are played by the same actors, but I'm sure enough editing could make it work. Just some food for thought! Nonetheless, more reviews coming soon, and stay safe you wonderful people. Roshan out.