Posted by Hibernian Psycho at 12-251-159-217.client.attbi.com on April 26, 2002 at 18:24:15:
In Reply to: NYPost 'VULGAR' review posted by Ming on April 26, 2002 at 17:19:17:
: SEND IN THE CLOWN - IF YOU CAN TAKE IT
: By LOU LUMENICK
: Rating: ***
: April 26, 2002 --
: Clown comedy is no laughing matter.
: Running time: 92 minutes. Not rated (rape, violence, profanity). At the
: Angelika, Houston and Mercer streets.
: TO say that "Vulgar" is not for all tastes might be the understatement
: of the year. For starters, this black comedy has a male rape scene
: that makes the one in "Deliverance" seem mild by comparison.
: "Vulgar" is the first of several micro-budgeted features from Kevin
: Smith's View Askew production company to reach the market, and
: writer-director Bryan Johnson has a much darker taste in humor than
: his patron.
: Brian O'Halloran, best known as a hangdog convenience-store
: habitué in Smith's "Clerks," gives an extraordinarily brave and moving
: performance as Flappy, whose work as a clown at children's parties
: in central New Jersey doesn't quite cover the bills at his monstrous
: mother's nursing home.
: So Flappy invents the alter-ego of Vulgar and places an
: advertisement offering to appear at bachelor parties in a different kind
: of clown drag - complete with bustier and fishnet stockings.
: But Vulgar's first gig ends with him being sexually assaulted at
: knifepoint and gunpoint by a leering redneck (the truly frightening
: Jerry Lewkowitz) and his two twisted sons (Matthew Maher and Ethan
: A traumatized Flappy makes it back to the kiddie circuit, only to
: become a media celebrity when he bravely intervenes in a
: hostage-taking at a party.
: A TV producer (a very funny Smith in a very un-Silent Bob-like turn)
: signs him up for a TV show, and the ratings soon soar. But then
: Flappy starts getting blackmail demands from his assailants, who
: threaten to release a videotape of the gang rape.
: Thematically similar to the recent "Death to Smoochy," "Vulgar" is a
: more interesting, if less polished, movie.
: Johnson, who also appears as Flappy's confidant, is a veteran
: video-store clerk who packs his film with references to little-known
: films - Flappy's bathtub scene after the assault is an homage to
: "Something Wild" (1961), a groundbreaking rape drama that starred
: Carroll Baker.
: "Vulgar" prompted a mass walkout when it premiered at the Toronto
: Film Festival a year and a half ago. But for those willing to risk being
: made very uncomfortable, this instant cult classic announces the
: arrival of a distinctive new talent behind the camera.
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