Looking to make a splash in the big city, Claire (Kate Micucci) and Paul (Sam Huntington) relocate from Ohio to Los Angeles. They quickly score a posh new apartment with unbelievably cheap rent—so far, according to plan. But what appears too good to be true, in fact, is. As it turns out, an enigmatic guru (Taika Waititi) committed suicide in the apartment’s bathtub; even worse, an endless string of enthusiastic cultists routinely break into the young couple’s home to ceremonially off themselves in his honor. Unable to afford another move, Claire and Paul find themselves growing increasingly fascinated by the cult’s anti-mortality beliefs.
Populated by a (self-)murderer’s row of comedy cameos, director Vivieno Caldinelli’s entertainingly bizarre debut is a black comedy that threads a needle of no-holds-barred surrealism and character-driven sweetness. Playfully absurd from beginning to end, 7 Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss by Passing Through the Gateway Chosen by the Holy Storsh is as unconventional and unpredictable as genre-minded comedies come.
Los Angeles-based director Vivieno Caldinelli has managed to apply his childhood obsessions, fears, and comedic vision into a career as a fully employable, award-winning director. Among his credits are the series Portal to Hell!!!, starring the late, great Roddy Piper, and the sketch comedy pilot Humantown. 7 Stages is his first feature.
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