''I describe it as being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are snails, salt, a pipe, and how to get home, as tormented by a hubristic, racist inner psyche.'' That's Crispin Glover, star of Back to the Future, explaining his aptly titled, nearly-a-decade-in-the-making directorial debut What Is It?, which premiered to mass puzzlement at last month's Sundance Film Festival.
How can you see it? Since the movie features graphic sexuality, melted live snails, and a cast with Down syndrome, Glover knows it is unlikely to find a distributor. ''Genuine counterculture will make people uncomfortable,'' he insists. So he plans to take it on the road, hosting screenings himself. It's the first film in a trilogy, and he's already shot the second movie, called It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine! He's sure it will be ''the best movie I ever have anything to do with.''