Having peaked with his debut, Napoleon Dynamite (2004), Jared Hess has settled into being a family-friendly John Waters — which is redundant, since Waters is already rated PG-13. Benjamin (Michael Angarano), Hess’s new nerd protagonist, writes sci-fi, and he’s taken his latest opus, Yeast Lords: The Bronco Years, to a convention starring geek guru Dr. Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement).
Desperate, deluded, and talentless, Chevalier steals Benjamin’s book and publishes it as his next bestseller. Thus, Hess intercuts three varieties of Yeast Lords: Benjamin’s movie fantasy as he’s writing the book, with Sam Rockwell in a Buckaroo Banzai-by-way-of-Dune parody; Chevalier’s movie fantasy as he rewrites the book, with Rockwell playing the hero as a screaming queen; and an actual movie version of the book by Benjamin’s friends that makes Be Kind Rewind look like Spielberg.
Extra credit for putting “In the Year 2525,” one of the worst one-hit wonders in pop history, on the soundtrack.