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The Dark Backward (1991)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  9 March 1991 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 1,508 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 18 critic

A man pursues stand-up comedy encouraged by his fellow garbage man. Though his friend, who accompanies him on accordion, continues to tell him how great he is, he actually stinks. When the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Gus
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Jackie Chrome
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Doctor Scurvy
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Dirk Delta
King Moody ...
...
Kitty
Danny Dayton ...
Syd
Carrie Lynn ...
Nicolette
Anna Berger ...
Mrs. Malt
Lydell M. Cheshier ...
Dexter
Tom Hodges ...
Marjorie Zipp
Theodocia Goodrich ...
Mrs. Bielfuss
Laurianne Jameson ...
Shirley
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Storyline

A man pursues stand-up comedy encouraged by his fellow garbage man. Though his friend, who accompanies him on accordion, continues to tell him how great he is, he actually stinks. When the "comedian" grows a third arm out of his back, the friend uses this twist to get him signed up with a sleazy talent agent, and it begins to look like his career is on the move, even though his girlfriend has left him. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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It's the world inside out.

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief scenes of bizarre, comic sensuality | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

9 March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ciemna strona  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Adam Rifkin wrote the screenplay when he was 19 years old. See more »

Quotes

Gus: I will laugh SO hard, my stomach will burst open and spray bile all over the stage!
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Connections

Referenced in Welcome to Hollywood (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Something of a dark existent movie wonder
7 March 2013 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

You can't knock knock this film's originality. Dark, at times disturbing, this movie is, like watching Bill Paxton eating containers of take out, way over their used by dates, or sucking the breasts of a naked corpse in a garbage dump, which isn't that funny, and pretty offensive and improper. Seeing Judd Nelson, in a preview of this, make me wake up to just a what a cool and good actor this guy really is. In my opinion, even though Wayne Newton is very good here, as a heartless talent agent, Nelson also should of got some friggin' award, as the unfunny, 'stars in his eyes, stage struck' comedian, who should wake up and smell the coffee. His ailing Mom tells it like it is, saying "You're not funny Marty". But the real joke there is the obvious underlying sarcasm that comes across in just unfunny he really is -the below zero 'suck' quality of his jokes, that don't even make sense, and are are so unlaughable, where in reality, after a test run, no one would hire this guy, if even feeling sorry for this geek. But again, there's the joke, the satire, of him being hired, where in the story's world, we get the notion, he would has been hired by some people who would of felt sorry for him. Here's a most different contrast of character, to the ones, Nelson usually plays. He's so good in this. But luck has turned his way in the form of a small lump growing out of his back which becomes a third arm. In the early phase of it, his useless doctor, who has a kinky assistant, slaps a band aid on it. Days later, Nelson returns. The doc (James Caan) goes ape at him for coming in, with, what he calls a little problem. Here he becomes an overnight sensation, where him and Paxton, an accordian player, become double act. I'm sure, people would certainly pay good money, to see a guy, with a authentic third arm growing out his back. It's all too absurb, or bizarre to consider. But this is quite a bizarre film. Another one of those, that stand alone, which we'll be distasteful to a few movie goers out there. Others will love it cause of the idea and it's originality, but mostly it's dark side, it's title, most suiting. Rob Lowe is impressive here too, as another talent agent, a smarmy sort, where Lara Flynn Boyle as a cafe worker and Nelson's love interest. Panic strikes too, when Nelson's third arm starts to disappear. But he comes up trumps in the end, as an overnight real comedian, partly thanks to his brief third asset. Yes, this is a distasteful movie, but sometimes things in bad taste are entertaining to many are few, where some of surely would be missing one short of a dollar. Check this flick out, just for it's originality.


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