Despite the potentially grim premise of 'Freedom State,' which involves eight mental patients who set out on a quest after the world ends, this 1996 independent film is anything but bleak. Instead, it's a playful film which revels in its idiosyncratic characters and challenges what qualifies as normal or crazy.

This unique indie by Cullen Hoback ('Monster Camp') is our free movie pick of the day.

Despite the potentially grim premise of 'Freedom State,' which involves eight mental patients who set out on a quest after the world ends, this 1996 independent film is anything but bleak. Instead, it's a playful film which revels in its idiosyncratic characters and challenges what qualifies as normal or crazy.

This unique indie by Cullen Hoback ('Monster Camp') is our free movie pick of the day.

As the film opens, a bored but otherwise normal woman named Krystal, played by Megan Murphy, finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage. We see her numbly plodding through life, sitting vacantly in front of the TV, eating dinner and half-heartedly struggling to maintain an identity that's separate from her husband's.

In order to restore excitement to her life and rediscover who she is as a person, Krystal decides to check herself into a mental hospital to "learn how to be crazy" because "it seems much more important" than the life she's currently living. "I wake up in the morning to go to sleep at night," Krystal says. "If that's normal, then I want no part of it." For Krystal, insanity quite simply holds the promise of freedom that a normal life can't offer.

One morning, the patients of the hospital awaken and discover their nurse is missing, the TV doesn't work, and all is quiet outside. They decide the world has come to an end, and quickly form a society of their own by assigning themselves roles. Krystal, for example, declares herself leader of the group and "President of the World." Others designate themselves lookout, executioner and cook. Never mind that the apocalypse may be a figment in the minds of the film's institutionalized characters; they're simply happy to be part of an event, real or imagined, that gives them meaning.

The film's acting is amateurish at points, and the whole endeavor starts to wear a bit thin, especially after viewers are made privy to the film's secret. Still, it's an imaginative film, with peculiar and frequently funny characters, a fantastic musical score, and an inventive visual style with the beautiful Pacific Northwest serving as backdrop.

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