Format: DVD from DeKalb Public Library on basement television.
It feels like ages since I’ve watched a movie, and to be honest, it really has been like a full week since I’ve sat down with a film. Our kitchen remodel is essentially finished and we’re just starting to put the house back together, which is going slowly for one reason or another. Work issues, life issues…you know how it goes. I’ve been meaning to sit down with a number of films, but Glorious is a couple of days overdue at the library, so knocking it out made the most sense today. Can’t let those fines get higher, after all.
Glorious is a film that has a pretty rough sell going in. This is, at least on the surface, a film about a demonic gl*ryhole in a rest stop bathroom in the middle of nowhere. That’s at least kind of the truth, and for a way into the basic plot of the movie, it’s going to be hard to do a lot better than that. And, to be fair, this is going to be a make or break for you. If that sounds interesting to you, you’re already in. If not, nothing I say is going to bring you into the fold.
We start with Wes (Ryan Kwanten), who is falling asleep while driving. He pulls into a rest stop, and it’s soon clear that Wes is going through something because that night, still at the rest stop, he gets blackout drunk and burns a number of his possessions, including his wallet and his pants. The next morning, he wakes up and runs to the bathroom to become sick. While in the bathroom, he becomes aware that the stall he is in has a gl*ryhole…and there’s someone in the stall next to him.
This is no ordinary patron in the bathroom, though. The two begin a conversation, and it is soon revealed that the other occupant claims to be a sort of god, or at least a demigod named Ghatanothoa (J.K. Simmons) who was created to destroy the universe. It’s not really discussed beyond that, but for those who know the mythos, Ghatanothoa is the first-born of C’thulhu. We’re told that he is tasked with destroying all life in the universe, but he doesn’t want to do it. He’s hiding from his father, but he’s running out of power and he needs Wes’s help. This is also the reason we never really see much of Ghatanothoa—we get glimpses, but as an Elder God or something like it, his form causes instant madness…and it helps with the budget, too.
Glorius, thus, takes place almost entirely inside a public bathroom with a disturbingly decorated gl*ryhole, and one of the two main characters we’re going to deal with here appears only as a voice. That means that Ryan Kwanten has the unenviable job of more or less holding the attention of the audience almost entirely by himself. This is not to denigrate the vocal performance of J.K. Simmons, which is a good one, but it’s really the world of Wes and his own mental space that is going to take up pretty much all of our focus.
What works very well in Glorious is how slowly it builds. We’re essentially given Wes as a person to latch onto, but as the film continues and we get flashes of Wes’s life before his arrival in the rest stop bathroom, we learn that Wes has some dark issues in his past and that there may be a reason that he has been led to this place either by Ghatanothoa or by forces beyond both of them. Much of this will concern Wes’s ex-girlfriend Brenda (Sylvia Grace Crim) and the relationship he had with her.
Glorious clocks in at a mere 79 minutes, but that really is the right length for it. I don’t know how this gets any longer than it is, and there’s not a lot of fat here that could honestly be trimmed. It is something that I found visually difficult to watch at times. There’s a lot of neon purple and red going on here—it looks like a one-person rave in a lot of cases.
There’s a lot here to like, though. I really enjoy how much effort is put into make sure that we know Wes is trapped in this place while still being in the real world. At one point, he tries to climb through an air vent only to climb into the same bathroom while at another point, a service worker checking on the bathroom (André Lamar) is able to walk in without problem. It’s like a little pocket dimension designed solely to imprison Wes for the duration.
This is worth tracking down. If you have a Shudder account, you can find this streaming. Otherwise, it’s clearly out on DVD, so you shouldn’t have any issues finding it outside of the online streaming pocket dimension.
Why to watch Glorious: Where else are you going to see an elder god in a gl*ryhole?
Why not to watch: I really dislike a lot of the lighting.