Shakes plods about his duties as party clown, and uses all of his free time getting seriously drunk. Binky, another clown, wins the spot on a local kiddie show, which depresses Shakes even ... See full summary »
When his son's body is found in a humiliating accident, a lonely high school teacher inadvertently attracts an overwhelming amount of community and media attention after covering up the truth with a phony suicide note.
Barry Crimmins is pissed. His hellfire brand of comedy has rained verbal lightning bolts on American audiences and politicians for decades, yet you've probably never heard of him. But once ... See full summary »
Shakes plods about his duties as party clown, and uses all of his free time getting seriously drunk. Binky, another clown, wins the spot on a local kiddie show, which depresses Shakes even more, and his boss threatens him with unemployment if he can't get his act under control. When someone murders Shakes' boss and makes it look like Shakes did it, he goes undercover, posing as a hated mime, and tries to find information that will clear his name. Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Much maligned in its time, but it aged like fine wine
A reviewer at the Boston Globe once called this, "The Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies." Given the number of points of comparison, who could argue?
I was reminded of this when I recently saw the 2003 movie, "Bad Santa" -- which was a similar one-joke, cynical comedy about an obnoxious alcoholic employed as a character meant to bring joy into the lives of children. (The name "Shakes" takes on a whole new meaning when the lead character attempts to detox.) If that one joke works, so goes the movie. So for comparison, I recently rented it not long after seeing "Bad Santa."
While Bad Santa received a great number of favorable critical reviews, this movie wasn't as fortunate. Upon further review, I have to say that this movie never got the credit it deserved.
Is it a great movie? Oh no. This is a movie that attempts to be so bad and foul, rolling in its own filth, that best targets people with the right, low-expectation mindset. But you could also say that of "There's Something About Mary."
It employs humor in some of the background scenes a la "Airplane." Its use of cheesy 70s actors is pure genius and helps complete the joke. (Nevermind Robin Williams, an early Adam Sandler, and the then-future voice of Sponge Bob Squarepants as the evil Binky the Clown.) If you can manage a smirk during John Waters' "Mondo Trasho," you'll likely find the movie to be quite funny overall.
It's Bobcat's opus, and its no wonder he never really made much of anything since; the same was true for Orson Wells after "Citizen Kane"...
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