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I was at the sneak preview at the Boston Film Festival and it was a
BLAST. Here's a quick review:
I'd call "Serial Buddies" a "lightly dark" comedy. It shares some cinematic DNA with modern absurdist comedies like "Napoleon Dynamite" (a bizarre cast of characters and a snappy pace). But where "Dynamite" affects a "too cool for school" attitude, "Serial Buddies" has an earnest, goofy energy, trading deadpan stares for a Woody Woodpecker-esque careening insanity.
Kathie Lee Gifford was a huge surprise as a randy Sorority Mom with the hots for trophy makers(!). She plays the role with lewd relish -- and she got some of the biggest laughs of the night for her efforts.
Christopher Lloyd's performance is also noteworthy. His scenes with Paul Ashton ("Gregory") as Gregory's father Dr. Von Gearheart veer from laugh-out-loud hilarious to heart-wrenching.
Speaking of Ashton, he is fantastic as Gregory. He allows us to see the heart in the ridiculous character that he's playing, while keeping it funny. A great performance from an actor to watch.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the mythical Kravello (Sir Richard Wentworth). The character, a legendary trophy maker who worked himself to death, is mentioned in reverent tones for the first half of the movie, and when his flashback finally arrives in the second act it does not disappoint. I won't spoil it for anyone, but it's spectacular and outrageous.
To sum up, I was really impressed. It's a unique film with many laughs -- well worth watching!
I recently got a chance to preview Serial Buddies at the Boston Film
Festival. This is the second effort I've seen from Writer/Director
Keven Undergaro, and I have to say, he has come a long way since "In
the Land of Merry Misfits". Serial Buddies shares some of the
fantastical elements of Misfits (you get a strong sense that you're not
quite in the real world) but the characters in Serial Buddies are much
more fleshed out, as is the storyline.
Paul Ashton carries the film as the flamboyant Gregory. The subtleties of his performance filled in many blanks as the offbeat characters pursued their bloody quest. In the hands of a lesser actor the audience might have faced a few head-scratching moments, but Ashton kept the action chugging right along.
I suspect many reviewers are going to point out the great narration by Henry Winkler and the cameo roles by Christopher Lloyd, Artie Lange, Maria Menounos (also the film's co-producer) and Kathy Lee Gifford (all of whom shined) but to me the highlights came in the unexpected performances by Danielle Weeks as Winter, and Sir Richard Wentworth as Kravello. Not big parts for either of them, but they were both hysterical. They gave a real boost of momentum to the second half of the film. As I left the theater, my most prominent memories were of Weeks' drunken shrieking and Sir Richard's flashback montage. Either one alone would have been worth the price of admission.
Viewers hoping for a catalyst for some lively après-movie philosophical debate should be warned that Serial Buddies is not a morality play. In fact, Undergaro completely ignores the ethical implications of serial murder. Which is precisely what makes the movie funny. His comedy applies tension on the audience by not serving up the expected, obligatory antagonist. I was so pleased by the absence of the cliché cop-with-a-heart-of-gold hot to offer some banal counterpoint that murder is bad. More fun to see how it all plays out in the bizarre world of Undergaro's imagination. Well done.
I saw this film at the Boston Film Festival on 9/20/11 and LOVED it! The cast was unbelievable and the movie was hilarious. The acting was great and I especially loved watching Paul Ashton in the role of Gregory. What an incredible talent!! The movie is full of fun surprises, including Kathie Lee Gifford who is SO SO funny. You should definitely watch - especially if you like off the wall humor (like I do). The movie takes you on a hilarious journey where surprises await you when you least expect them. That is part of what makes this film so funny. Some truly hilarious moments!Great job Keven Undergaro...we're expecting more greatness from you!!
An odd-ball quirky, comedy about serial killers. Haven't see this
before! The film begins by introducing us to our leads -- outcast
loners who just want to be loved. One, a wanna-be priest who kills for
God's glory, the other a trophy-maker who worries about trophy
production problems. They become partners in a weird rampage that
brings them to strange lands and ever more increasing numbers of
eccentric characters. This film is a visual feast, with colors and
costumes that treat the eyes. Characters surprise and delight with
their peculiar world-vision. And the story is certainly one never seen
Writer/Director Undergaro clearly possesses a rich inner life, and spending some time there, through his film, is a treat. Kinda like chocolate covered bacon -- it's strange, and you might have to think about it, but undoubtedly, you like it!
With cameos from the brilliant Christopher Lloyd, hilarious Kathie Lee Gifford, and brilliantly underplayed Christopher McDonald, among MANY others, this film constantly surprises and delights. In a kooky and uncommonly wonderful way.
The movie Serial Buddies was an extremely funny and entertaining movie that left you fully engaged and supportive of a strange and eclectic group of characters. I wonder where the writer drew his influence from in real life? I left the theater thinking how could I possibly attempt to explain what I just saw for the last 90 minutes in a way that someone who hadn't seen the movie could appreciate? I don't think it is possible as I have unsuccessfully tried a couple of times. I highly recommend seeing Serial Buddies with the understanding that your preconceived notions of what the film is about don't scratch the surface of what you will see!
I'm in love with this movie. It's an irreverent comedy with some scenes that could go down in indie movie history (let's just say you'll love Danielle Weeks' inspired church anthem and some s&m gear). It's an outlandish comedy that keeps you guessing and surprises you in every scene... plus has AMAZING guest stars. Christopher Lloyd is brilliant, Maria Menounos and Beth Behrs are adorable, Artie Lange and Kathie Lee Gifford are literally hilarious and upstage everyone in their scenes and then Henry Winkler's voice guides you through! Amazing. Plus the main cast of serial buddies bring a lot to the table... Gary is insane funny, I'm in LOVE with Paul Ashton (again, see s&m scene), Graham is adorable and Gian seems like someone you'd want to hang out with (though his character is the exact opposite of that). Totally recommend. Can't wait until it's on video on demand.
I didn't know what to expect heading into the premiere of the world's
1st "Serial Killer Buddy Comedy" because let's face it there is nothing
out there like it, which coincidentally is the first point as to why I
fell in love with the darkly hilarious, dryly hysterical roller coaster
of a ride with the very likable (and may I add highly fashionable) Paul
Ashton and Hal Rudnick. The chemistry between the characters was the
second point as to what made the unique plot line a winner and had you
connected, laughing and engaged until the very end!
Finally, how can you not point out the stellar yet small dose performances of some really big stars?! Christopher Lloyd, Artie Lange, Maria Menounos, Beth Behrs and especially Kathy Lee Gifford were stellar in their on-screen moments -- just the right amount of star power to enhance the cast as a whole.
I wondered why many are calling it the next "Napoleon Dynamite" and all I can say is once you see it you get why this statement is so right on, all while the film really stands in a category all its own!
Keven Undergaro's ADVENTURES OF SERIAL BUDDIES is a deeply strange and engaging film that probably isn't for everyone, but for those who get it and settle into its vibe, its mix of dark comedy, cartoon surrealism, and human warmth will make it an instant cult classic. Every frame of the film is packed with meticulous whimsy. Every plot twist induces a new level of taboo-smashing lunacy. The cast is a mix of compelling newcomers (like Paul Ashton as "Gregory", stealing every scene he's in; John Comerford as the overachieving but broken big brother; and Sir Richard Wentworth as Krevello the party monster, unforgettable mentor to Gary the dim-witted sociopath) and famous faces having a ball in the circus of murder and dysfunction that Undergaro has built for them to play in (Christopher Lloyd injecting pathos into his disappointed father role like a master craftsman, Kathy Lee Gifford hilariously painting herself as a greedy faux philanthropist with a jones for trophy makers, and Maria Menounos lighting up the screen as the archetypal snobby sorority girl). Henry Winkler's narration lends a tenderness to scenes that would otherwise be chilling and alienating, easing us into a riot of colorful crimes, committed for ridiculous reasons by two complementary basket cases who really just want to be loved (as does their backwards tagalong intern). It's comedically ruthless, emotionally poignant, and visually bewitching. Its occasional rough edges cast the precision of Undergaro's vision into higher relief. This director obviously has a host of great films ahead of him. This shameless but gentle/reckless but complex film should be seen by all who value a twisted vision with a heart of gold. Fans of Adult Swim, John Waters, SouthPark and other such slices of apocalyptic fun should pounce on this film a.s.a.p. ADVENTURES OF SERIAL BUDDIES could be the jaded hipster date movie of the century. I loved it to pieces.
I enjoyed watching this movie. I got some good laughs and it was a good
way to kill a few hours with the girlfriend just laughing and relaxing.
If you're trying to find a serious movie that will bring you to tears or make you question your whole being; then yeah, it may not be your cup of tea... but if you're just looking for a good hour and a half of laughs and seeing some of your favorite actors in silly situations you'll definitely enjoy this movie. (We still reference some of the inside jokes from it randomly; I don't know. It just sticks with you!)
Overall, if you're looking to sit back, have some popcorn, some laughs, and just leave in a generally better mood; it's a good afternoon flick to enjoy with some friends.
If you don't see this movie... I may have to bury you in a ditch
somewhere. Christopher Lloyd is top notch as always, Artie Lange from
MADtv fame is hilarious, and the main leads carried their weight well
with all the stars.
If you're looking for something out of the ordinary... with bikers, sorority girls and clowns, narrated by Henry Winkler... where else are you going to look? An indie movie for the college crowd... and those with a twisted sense of humor.
FYI, this isn't another sequel to those golden retriever puppy movies, but you can pretend it is... if that's what you're into.
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