Tinseltown

  • 1999
  • 1 HR 32 MIN
  • R
  • Comedy

It takes a certain amount of screenwriting dexterity and directorial sophistication to pull off black comedy, and writer-director Tony Spiridakis and co-writer Shem B. Herman don't have either. This flat-footed farce, based on their stage play, blusters along as though vaudevillians had been hired to do a satirist's work. Penniless screenwriter Tiger (Tom...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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It takes a certain amount of screenwriting dexterity and directorial sophistication to pull off black comedy, and writer-director Tony Spiridakis and co-writer Shem B. Herman don't have either. This flat-footed farce, based on their stage play, blusters along as though vaudevillians had been hired to do a satirist's work. Penniless screenwriter Tiger (Tom Wood) plans to board the next Greyhound Bus out of Hollywood despite the pleas of his producing partner, Max (Arye Gross). On the eve of their final pitch session with indie producer Arnie (Joe Pantoliano), Max and Tiger are reduced to living in a storage unit, where the luckless duo encounter other struggling artists, including facility manager Cliff (Ron Perlman), who wants to be an actor. Meanwhile, a serial slayer in clown disguise is terrorizing Tinseltown. Max and Tiger find incriminating evidence in Cliff's live-in unit and hit upon a killer idea: They'll pitch a screenplay told from the point-of-view of the actual killer. When Cliff proves amenable, Max and Tiger hire student-filmmaker Nikki (Kristy Swanson) to shoot footage of Cliff stalking victims. But is Cliff really the boogeyman, and will Max and Tiger jeopardize Nikki if they fail to capture the essence of the image-conscious madman? The intricate writing and flashy direction needed to fuel this wild-and-wooly scenario are nowhere in evidence — imagine MONSIEUR VERDOUX (1947) directed by John Landis. Only because Swanson, Dukes and Perlman deliver winning performances and refrain from pushing for laughs is the clod-hopper farce at all watchable.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: R
  • Review: It takes a certain amount of screenwriting dexterity and directorial sophistication to pull off black comedy, and writer-director Tony Spiridakis and co-writer Shem B. Herman don't have either. This flat-footed farce, based on their stage play, blusters al… (more)

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