Promoted as "the comedy hit of the 1990 Houston Film Festival," NEUROTIC CABARET is a crass farce which gained local notoriety when producer-director-co-screenwriter John Woodward's fiancee Tammy Stones spent a few weeks in "research" by cavorting onstage at Rick's Cabaret, a Houston
Terri (Stones) is an aspiring actress-screenwriter who, with boyfriend-director Nick (Dennis Worthington), schemes to finance filming their dopey sci-fi script "Space Pirates." Terri dances at Pandora's, a glamorous girlie bar, and though good ol' boys eagerly stuff her panties with bills it's
just not enough. Then Terri's groped by Cheo (Paul Vasquez), a raunchy Mexican guarding a cash-filled briefcase. Later Terri seduces Cheo in a hotel room while Nick nabs the briefcase; but a transaction has occurred, and the satchel now holds two small snakes. They're genetically engineered
reptiles whose venom cures baldness, and Terri and her stripper friends embark on a backup blackmail plot while trying to sell the miraculous serpents. By the end Terri gets what she wants, and the only character with anything like decent values--a dithery Christian fundamentalist (James Gale,
with an out-of-place British accent)--has been framed as a dangerous sex pervert. The fadeout brings the lone clever gag, unless one also counts the closing disclaimer: "No snakes were injured in the making of this film."
NEUROTIC CABARET is one of those films where two guys knock heads and hear twittering-bird noises. A leering Japanese businessman really speaks English, his words dubbed in backwards. Nick is pointedly styled as a hunting fanatic who calls BAMBI communist propaganda and barely flinches when Terri
almost blows his head off by accident. It's all done with class-clown enthusiasm and sharp production values, but there's little to be said for regional filmmaking that merely matches the stupidity of Hollywood smut.
Tammy Stones sports an ebullient personality and admirable contours, but should have bumped and ground over better material. The heroine's minor qualms about exploiting her body take the form of an asinine rap-music-video nightmare that hardly enhances the crowded soundtrack. (Substance abuse,profanity, sexual situations, nudity.)
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- Released: 1991
- Rating: NR
- Review: Promoted as "the comedy hit of the 1990 Houston Film Festival," NEUROTIC CABARET is a crass farce which gained local notoriety when producer-director-co-screenwriter John Woodward's fiancee Tammy Stones spent a few weeks in "research" by cavorting onstage… (more)