Fletcher Munson is a lethargic, passive worker for a Scientology-like self-help corporation called Eventualism. After the death of a colleague, he is promoted to the job of writing speeches for T. Azimuth Schwitters, the founder and head of the group. He uses this as an excuse to be emotionally and romantically distant from his wife, who, he discovers, is having an affair with his doppelganger, a dentist named Dr. Jeffrey Korchek. As Munson fumbles with the speech and Korchek becomes obsessed with a new patient, a psychotic exterminator named Elmo Oxygen goes around the town seducing lonely wives and taking photographs of his genitals. Written by
Gary Dickerson <email@example.com>
The word "circumcised" is misspelled on Elmo's truck. See more »
[closing speech from stage]
Ladies and gentlemen, young and old, I know this may seem an unusual procedure, but I thought you might have some questions, and since I'm already here, I can answer some of them.
[looking left and right, pausing]
Yes. Yes. Not specifically: I actually find all of them rather weird. Yes. Footlong veggie on wheat. Thank you.
[camera shows empty auditorium as he leaves]
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No fish were harmed during the making of this film. See more »
"Caution: This film makes wide turns. Following too close may result in injury."
I will echo a comment that someone made about -The Big Lebowski- (my #1 favorite comedy followed by this delightful mess). "Warning: this film transmits on a strictly limited wavelength." If you don't catch this curveball, you're likely to be bored. I won't say that if you don't like it on first viewing, then you're never going to like it. In my case, certain movies get more enjoyable on repeat viewings even after receiving a ho-hum response the first time around. This is one of those movies. With a narrative more fractured than your average David Lynch film, there are connections between one scene and another that jump out and take notice only on repeat viewings, sort of like "portals" from one part of the movie to another. Music that plays, pictures shown on the wall, one-sided phone conversations, that sort of thing. Aside from the already-limited-wavelength humor, these amplify the laugh factor. This is a movie destined for some kind of limited cult-following someday, but keeping to a murmur level when you're standing next to an air conditioner. The Criterion DVD has some good features and outtakes, like the "Maximum Busy Muscle" segment extolling the virtues of all products vinyl.
Update Nov. '06. Re-watching this almost on a whim, and it all comes together (such as it is) even more. This is truly hilarious, a comedy masterpiece reveling in all its many absurdities, which come one after the other at a highly accelerated rate. I'm upping my vote from 9 to 10.
"You will learn something from me here today." --Elmo Oxygen (Noooo!!! Oooogghghgh!!)
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