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1 item from 1998

Film review: 'Plump Fiction'

14 May 1998 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The problem with doing a parody of Quentin Tarantino movies is that the filmmaker has already inspired an onslaught of inferior copycats that have beaten, albeit unintentionally, "Plump Fiction" to the punch line.

While the Rhino Films debut production is not without its pointedly amusing moments, this is the kind of stuff that more effectively lends itself to a segment of "Saturday Night Live" or "Mad TV" -- not to mention the three-minute "Swing Blade", the Billy Bob Thornton-meets-"Swingers" parody short that will precede it in theaters. Even a Mel Brooks or a Zucker brother would be hard-pressed to sustain the humor over a feature-length running time.

Expect marginal college-town, midnight-movie business.

A goofy blending of Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" and "Reservoir Dogs" (known here as "Reservoir Nuns") with a little Oliver Stone added to the mix, the hit-and-miss spoof follows the intertwining paths of exterminator/hit men Jimmy Paul Dinello) and Julius (Tommy Davidson) doing the John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson thing. Along the way they meet up with Mimi (Julie Brown), the food-addicted wife of feared crime boss Montello (Robert Costanza), not to mention "Natural Blonde Killers" Nicky Matthew Glave) and Vallory (Pamela Segall), who do some wicked "Stone" throwing.

Among the more inspired bits is the Independent Cafe, the picture's take-off on Jack Rabbit Slim's, which is populated by familiar characters from the world of indie film. It's presided over by hostess Priscilla, Queen of the Desserts (Tim Kazurinsky) and highlighted by a mute waitress fresh out of "The Piano" (Molly O'Leary) with Kane Picoy doing a killer Christopher Walken. Lezlie Deane, meanwhile, skewers Jodie Foster's "Nell" with a devastatingly dead-on impression.

Being a former comic, writer-director Bob satirical instinct is fairly sharp, but his timing is way off. This type of material needs to be delivered in blink-and-you'll-miss-it triple time rather than attempting to emulate Tarantino's characteristically deliberate pacing.

As a result, viewers will find themselves pining for a fast-forward button. Given what will most likely be a tiny theatrical window, they should soon have their wish.


Legacy Releasing

A Rhino Films production

Director-screenwriter:Bob Koherr

Producer:Gary Binkow

Executive producer:Stephen Nemeth

Director of photography:Rex Nicholson

Production designer:Jacques Herbert

Editor:Neil Kirk

Costume designer:Vincent Lapper

Music:Michael Muhlfriedel



Julius:Tommy Davidson

Mimi:Julie Brown

Jimmy:Paul Dinello

Bunny Roberts:Sandra Bernhard

Bumpkin:Dan Castellaneta

Viv:Colleen Camp

Running time -- 85 minutes

MPAA rating: R


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