In front of the cameras and in public, famed Hollywood actress Honey Whitlock, a product of the studio system, is as sweet as her name. Behind the scenes, she is demanding and controlling, making life a nightmare for anyone who has to deal with her, especially her browbeaten assistant, Libby. She and her entourage are in Baltimore - what is emerging as the Hollywood of the east - for the premiere of her latest movie. The premiere gets hijacked by a group of guerrilla independent filmmakers, led by director Cecil B. DeMented, in wanting to make a statement against the Hollywood studio system and the bad movies they produce. Cecil and his band kidnap Honey in the process. What their goal is, with no money per se, to make their own movie starring Honey as a statement against the Hollywood studios. Their general process is to have the scripted elements of the movie, such as Honey's dialogue, being set against "real life" in they overtaking several of the Hollywood movie studio events in ...Written by
A moment before Cecil licks the movie camera, the word "Panavision" can clearly be seen above the "Panaflex" logo that he licks. When it cuts to the close-up of him licking the "Panaflex" logo, the "Panavision" logo is covered with a blank plate that matches the color of the camera. In the next clear shot of the camera, the "Panavision" logo is back and the "Panaflex" logo is covered in black. See more »
The credits thank "Fred and Ginger" both insinuating Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, the dance duo, and "Fred e Ginger" a movie by Federico Fellini, paying homage to the duo. See more »
There was a quick shot in earlier prints of the movie theater showing the director's cut of "Patch Adams", where we see the sign advertising the director's cut. This shot can still be seen on the intro to the DVD menu, and in one of the trailers. See more »
Written by Todd Chaisson, Michael Parnin and Todd Michael Burr
Performed by Substance D
Courtesy of Noise Records/Modern Music Records See more »
Many of you have probably never heard of this film, which stars Stephen Dorff as a rebel filmmaker who goes to some interesting extremes to get his movie made. The film is directed by noted underground director John Waters, and Waters tosses in scores of Hollywood in-jokes (check out the marquee during the opening credits!). The reason more people didn't see this in the theater is simply that it's so... so... different. It's highly unique, and therefore less likely to appeal to a mass audience.
But you do need to see it, really! Cecil B. Demented (Dorff) is the leader of a motley band of would-be film aficionados who kidnap a Hollywood actress (Melanie Griffith) at the premiere of her latest film. Demented's idea is to make a movie using guerrilla tactics, making the statement that studio films are Bad and independent films are Good. Waters' point is that the studio system is such that any movie coming out of it fits into a formula to make it more palatable to the masses - that is, that the movies you see in the multiplexes are dumbed down for your viewing pleasure.
Demented tries to achieve his vision by staging protests of a sort at movie houses, film screenings, speeches, and even a drive-in. His entourage includes a Satanist, a former porn star, and many other social and sexual deviants. There's hardly a taboo subject Waters doesn't cover here! And to be sure, the character of Demented himself never changes, which is in itself a welcome respite. Had this been a Hollywood film, you might have seen the nefarious filmmaker suddenly see the error of his ways in the final three minutes. I won't give anything away to you, folks, but rest assured that the characters remain true to themselves, except for Griffith's character. She changes, but it's a subtle, honest change.
There are surprises everywhere you turn, but let me warn you: this is absolutely not a film for everyone. There is plenty here to offend even the most open of minds. It is at once a unique, refreshing, and exciting film. It never even rests to catch its breath - it doesn't want the audience to fall back into its Hollywoodized lull.
Major kudos for screenwriting go to Waters and to his amazing cast. If you're into offbeat films, please watch this.
17 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this