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Maidstone Reviews

Although he can be a good writer, Mailer should never have made this dreadful film. He shot this hodgepodge in five days, then took the next two years to edit the 45 hours of footage down to 110 minutes. He also had to write a few books in order to pay the bills for what must be the most expensive home movie ever made. It took more than 100 people and a quintet of camera crews to make this horribly pretentious film-within-a-film. It's sometime in the future and Mailer plays a presidential candidate who is also a film director. He's making a movie in Long Island in which he co-stars as the manager of a brothel for women. He runs the place with his half brother, Torn. All of the major political candidates have been killed and Mailer fears for his life, even though he's being protected by a group purporting to be dedicated to saving candidates'lives. Nevertheless, Mailer thinks they may be the killers. Mailer battles with both liberals and conservatives; fights with Bentley (his estranged wife); and there are several other incidents, none of which mean anything except to Mailer. In the end, Torn attacks him with a hammer; Mailer bites Torn's ear, and the incident is witnessed by his screaming wife and hysterical children. The film says nothing, means nothing, and is nothing. The only reason to see this is to gaze in wonderment at such tripe masquerading as drama. The movie might eventually make its money back if they cut it into 10 million little pieces and sell them as mandolin picks.