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Dice Rules (1991)

NC-17  |   |  Comedy, Documentary  |  17 May 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 482 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 10 critic

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Title: Dice Rules (1991)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gas Station Attendent
Sylvia Harman ...
Homeless Woman
Lee Lawrence ...
Noodles Levenstein ...
Bank Teller (as Marty 'Noodles' Levenstein)
Maria Parkinson ...
Michael Wheels Parise ...
Dr. Slaughter (as Michael 'Wheels' Parise)
Sumont ...
Convenience Store Clerk
Hot Tub Johnny West ...
Deli Clerk (as 'Hot Tub' Johnny West)
Fred Silverstein ...
Man in Love
Carmine Diorio ...
Band Member
Sal Iuvara ...
Band Member
Steve Jankowski ...
Band Member
Richard Santa ...
Band Member
Robert Santa ...
Band Member


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Release Date:

17 May 1991 (USA)  »

Box Office


$637,327 (USA)

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Featured in Retrosexual: The 80's (2004) See more »

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Coming from someone who loves making offensive jokes...
6 January 2009 | by (Denver, CO) – See all my reviews

Whoa, this was awful. I felt like I had stumbled into a supremacist rally or something.

It starts with a brainless run of dumb skits where Andrew Dice Clay inexplicably apes Jerry Lewis (and I don't even like Jerry Lewis, so a cheap takeoff from a comic that specializes in tasteless misogyny is not my idea of a good time). After a half hour of torturous abysmal skititude, more difficult to watch than anything in the 4 1/2 hours of La Roue, we finally get to the comedy, which is occasionally amusing but is far too much pure, unadulterated, troublesome and hateful woman-bashing, with a Nuremberg rally cheering him on.

And that's the main issue one would have. Where someone like Stephen Colbert is playing an satirically extreme version of a character he may disagrees with, the audience is in on the joke. They know he's not really an extremist right-winger making crazy statements, they get the wink. Andrew Dice Clay is closer to someone like Larry the Cable Guy, a comedian who plays a character, a redneck, that his background does not compute with (his early performances are more akin to Jay Leno). But where the Cable Guy is merely opportunistically taking the money of redneck people who think he speaks for them, Dice is a bit more worrisome. Where Larry can make a redneck smile when he sees the couch on his lawn, it's hard to shake the idea that that same redneck is going to some home from a Dice Clay show and, y'know, beat his wife.

Now, far be it for me to penalize a performer for the audience he has who doesn't get the joke, but in this case, he's not misunderstood, he's not ignorant of this effect. He's completely, fully aware of what he's doing, of the kind of people he's playing to, and how seriously they take his work. Even the lines that are occasionally amusing, there's always a cringe as you know that some woman is getting punched in the face with every 'ow!" Every shot of the men in the crowd, they're not laughing as much as pumping their fists. Every shot of a woman in the crowd is not one of laughter or genuine amusement, but more like they've got egg on their face, like they can't believe he said that, or that, or that, and they're worried that they're getting kicked in the stomach when they get home as her husband obsessively repeats his nursery rhymes and calls her a pig and a baboon. It's a man who has a fear of women, playing to a crowd that is even more fearful.

It's funny, there's nothing lazier than a Nazi comparison when it's something you don't like, but for once, the comparison is eerily sensible. The crowd is enraptured by a man preaching hate speech, satirical or not, and you know that the predominantly white, male crowd is the kind of people who are given all the chances in the world, but fail because they're idiots, and instead choose to blame every minority they can think of: women, the handicapped, women, the Japanese, women, the sick, women, midgets, and of course, women. So they go, and he validates every irrational fear they have, and he's the embodiment of cool for them, so they listen and repeat everything he says, and you get the feeling that if he told the crowd to assault the women in the audience, and added enough "ow!"s and "bada-bing"s, not a woman would leave the building.

There's a lot of great, genre-bending, taboo-breaking genius comedians, but Andrew Dice Clay, if he is a satirist, has the bad misfortune of being too damn convincing. Every now and then, he says, "don't take this too seriously, it's all a goof", akin to what Eminem occasionally pulls during his fits of rage. But where songs like "Kill You" are akin to Andrew Dice Clay, he makes it very clear that he's putting out his frustrations in song instead of in person, and where he is cartoonishly extreme (for instance, "As the World Turns" begins with him attempting to assault a woman at a laundromat, and ends with her eating his leg and his "go-go gadget..."). Instead, Andrew Dice Clay is just extreme. Eminem, even at his worst, is brilliantly lucid, he is witty, clever, he makes jokes, splendid turns of phrase, and by his second album, was pushing buttons to push buttons, and the only people that got mad were people that missed the joke. Here, the people who missed the joke...are his biggest supporters. The Diceman has no quality in his construction. He has no tact, no skill, and worst, doesn't even tell jokes. He just says "Women make me mad, I hate them, and they're only good for sex." Hardy-har indeed.

Michael Richards was shunned for one random (and completely misunderstood) outburst, said in a fit of pique. Andrew Dice Clay, thankfully, has also been blackballed in the industry, but instead of one random moment of anger, he built an entire career out of it, and by the 20-minute mark, I felt uncomfortable, like I had accidentally tapped into a white power forum.

I bet Kramer is angry.

{Grade: 0/10 (F)}

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