As Aristotle wrote in Poetics, “We enjoy contemplating the most precise images of things whose actual sight is painful to us, such as the forms of the vilest animals and of corpses.” Whether or not the Greek philosopher would have found pleasure in throwing around the limp body of an English actor warrants serious consideration. But, generally speaking, people love to touch dead things. (It’s totally normal, right?) That’s why the promotional website for the comedy-drama Swiss Army Man, slated for theatrical release on June 24, is oddly compelling.
As the film’s title implies, there are myriad actions the corpse of Manny, played by Daniel Radcliffe, can do. For one, he lets out wicked farts when poked. He’s also a great singer, water fountain, knife, and compass. In addition to being tossed about the screen, Manny’s many skills can be unlocked by typing in words like radio, canteen, blowtorch, compass, knifehand, Friday, cannon, dreams, and cramp.
When it comes to the film itself, Radcliffe asked, “What more could you want? Some people going, ‘What the hell did I just watch?’ and, ‘What is this?’ and other people going, ‘This is the best. I love this. I want more of this.’ I think that’s what good art does.” He also told The Hollywood Reporter at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, “I loved the physical challenge of it. I loved seeing how painful I could make things look!”