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Chuck Toedan's the host of a gameshow featuring death row convicts competeing in life-or-death contests in hopes of cheating the executioner or, at the very least, winning some nice prizes for their next of kin. Not surprisingly, Chuck has made more than a few enemies, from outraged viewers trying to ban his show, to families of losing contestants looking for revenge. A hitman hired by one such family has shown up at Chuck's office, and he'll need to enlist the help of his most outspoken critic to keep from ending up like most of his contestants. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
"Deathrow Gameshow" is an effort from writer and director Mark Pirro, a director known for making independent movies on extremely small budgets. It was the first movie of his that I saw, and after seeing it I have no desire to see any of his other movies. Oh, the movie is not totally devoid of laughs - there are four or five gags that I admit made me chuckle. But the rest of the movie is pretty painful to sit through. The obvious low budget is ridiculous, giving us shabby sets and production goofs like seeing the reflection of a member of the crew. But what really bothered me more than the shabby look of the enterprise was the screenplay. The idea of the movie is one that's best used as a skit, not a full length movie. It's clear that Pirro had a problem stretching things out, which means the movie moves extremely slowly. But worst of all, almost all the attempted humor falls flat. The movie is so lame and unfunny in its sense of humor that it's no wonder Crown-International Pictures barely released the movie to theaters.
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