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Complex World (1992)

Terrorists, political conspiracy, drugs and bad music. Just another night at the Heartbreak hotel.


Jim Wolpaw

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stanley Matis Stanley Matis ... Morris Brock
Margo Dionne Margo Dionne ... Gilda
Allen Oliver Allen Oliver ... Harpo
Daniel von Bargen ... Malcom
Joe Klimek Joe Klimek ... Alex, the Janitor
Jay Charbonneau Jay Charbonneau ... Klem
Dan Welch Dan Welch ... Jeff Burgess
Ernesto Luna Ernesto Luna ... Hotel Waiter
Bob Owczarek Bob Owczarek ... Robert Burgess
Dorothy Gallagher ... Miriam
David P.B. Stephens David P.B. Stephens ... Larry Newman
Rich Lupo Rich Lupo ... The Mayor
Lou Albano ... Boris Lee (as Captain Lou Albano)
Tilman Gandy Jr. Tilman Gandy Jr. ... Tilman Gandy Jr.
Lucinda Dohanian Lucinda Dohanian ... Maggie, the Bartender


The Heartbreak Hotel nightclub in Providence is having a busy night: the owner's politician father is trying to shut the club down, one of the bands is making phone calls to the afterworld, and a pathetic folk-singer/terrorist is planning to make this his night of flaming glory. Includes such musical numbers as "I Married a Tree" and "Why Do We Feed the Broads?" Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Rock 'N' Roll Comedy That Will Blow You Away.


Comedy | Musical | Action








Release Date:

28 February 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

It's a Complex World See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Heartbreak Hits See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Beatlegends Paul: Beatlegends Paul: Hey Elvis ask Janis if she ever learned to sing.
See more »


Do the Heimlich
Written by The Young Adults
Performed by The Young Adults
See more »

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User Reviews

A great movie
30 September 2006 | by abirosaSee all my reviews

Once upon a time there was a place called Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel. This Heartbreak Hotel was rock bar in the Providence, Rhode Island. In 1987 the hotel had some rough times and it looked as if the doors were going to close for good. So Lupo got his bartender Jim Wolpaw who had made an Oscar nominated short film Keats and His Nightingale: A Blind Date to make a movie around the benefit concert to save the Heartbreak.

The headlining act of the concert was Providence's own The Young Adults. The Young Adults were big success in their hometown and had some local air play around 1979 with the single Complex World w/ Beer. Due to internal problems the band split. What kind of sound did the Young Adults kick out? The band lead by David Hansen (then known as Sport Fisher) produced songs that were humorous in nature, yet had the sound of honest, soulful rock 'n' roll. Songs like: Do The Heimlich, Christmas In Japan In July, and Complex World , of course, would make up the soundtrack of (you guessed it) Complex World. Side Note: the band was once sought by Lorne Michaels to be the band for "Saturday Night Live". The Young Adults only album was entitled Helping Others on the Heartbreak Hits label. And now you know the rest of the story.

Sorry, Paul Harvey moment! I found out about this movie in the early nineties. It was in one of those non-chain video stores. Mom and Pop video stores are great because sometimes they get movies that would be normally tossed to the side. During that time, I had seen Quinten Tarantino's Reservior Dogs and wanted to find more independent and cult movies. Complex World is high on my list of cult favorite movies.

Complex World is the story of Morris Brock (Stanley Matis), a man who joins a group of terrorists in order to get out from under the shadow of his dead brother. Morris isn't the ring leader in this scheme. In fact, the group is lead by Malcom (Daniel Von Bargen), who like most of the group, can't stand Morris. Well that isn't completely true, the group's weapons expert and the movie's token black Harpo (Allen Oliver) is silent for most of the film. Last, but not least Gilda (Margo Dionne) is Morris' east German love interest that has no interest in him.

The terrorists' plans are to place a bomb in the basement of the Heartbreak and then hold the people for ransom. The terrorists are themselves being manipulated by the underlings of Sen. Robert Burgess (Bob Owczarek) who son Jeff Burgess (Dan Welch) is the owner of the Heartbreak. The senator sees his son as a risk to his run for president and is willing to have him killed as an opportunity to make him a sympathetic hero. Are you still with me? Good! What no one counted on is Jeff complete unwillingness to take anything seriously.

On top of everything else, the mayor office has a motorcycle gang hired to terrorize the people of Heartbreak while officials promise to ignore the gang's actions. The gang is lead by Boris Lee played masterfully by none other than Captain Lou "Super Mario Super Show" Albino. Boris Lee is a biker with as strong sense of history and a major fan of Stonewall Jackson.

The least powerful of the Heartbreak Hotel's enemies is the Rev. Tilman Gandy Jr. I don't know if the Rev. was some kind of comic act, but I strongly doubt that he is an actual Reverened. The Rev. Gandy Jr. stands outside the Heartbreak preaching to anyone who will listen to him. The Sermon involves very a fractured retelling of Noah's Ark an some bad philistine jokes.

Complex World is not a very polished film, and if crude, dark humor isn't your cup of tea you may want to avoid. The icing on the cake is the songs of Morris Brock. Like some kind of mix between Woody Allen and Bob Dylan, Morris belts out unforgettable numbers like: Why Do We Feed the Broads, Dead Guy Song, Khruschev Went to the Zoo, and ending with the hateful anthem New Jersey. The Young Adults is comprised of toe tappers like: Kill Yourself, Meeting Girls, Summer Song, Meat Rampage, I Married a Tree, and the songs previously mentioned above. The songs alone are reason enough to see this movie once. It should also be noted that the band NRBQ has two songs they perform for the soundtrack: Me and the Boys and 12 Bar Blues. The Smithereens are the extras around the bar.

While the music plays above "clone band" the Beatlegends take a phone call from the spirit of Elvis while doing lines of coke. The members of the Beatlegends learn about the whereabouts of John Lennon's soul and the secret of life.

In the end, Complex World is movie that looks at the prospect of annihilation, laughs at it, shrugs its shoulders and walks away. If your looking for something that funny to watch, you like good jams, or you dig post Cold-War nostalgia, This is your film. Now your saying, "Abe sound great, but where do I find this wonder of cinema?" Well, on Amazon for up twenty bucks the magic and be yours to keep. A website had it for sale for a hundred, so you can pretty much see where the nice price is.

Abi' Retroactive Score for Complex world: 8.5

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