STUDIO: Anchor Bay

MSRP: $17.99
RUNNING TIME: 80 Minutes

• Audio commentary from Director Philip Zlotorynski and Writer/Producer Chris Gore
• The Making of My Big Fat Independent Movie
• Theatrical trailer
• Set of 7 Collectable Postcards spoofing better Independent movies

The Pitch

Does anyone want to fund my spoof on determinately better Independent films? Hello? – Well shit, I suppose I’ll just do it myself…

The Humans

Clint Howard (for less than 5 minutes). Paget Brewster. Jason Mewes (in voice only). Pete Jones (before he blows up). Bob Odenkirk. Neil Barton. Ashley Head. Eric Hoffman. Brian Krow. Darren Keefe. A ton of other people whose names will not ring anyone’s bells. Not that that matters. ‘Cause it don’t. Just like my English skills.

The Nutshell

How you will feel while watching this.

Filmthreat’s Chris Gore finally went out and went crazy on the Independent film world’s ass with his liberal lampooning of the genre in My Big Fat Independent Movie. Good for him. What’s not the greatest is the narrative, which is some sort of haphazard excuse to borrow (i.e. ‘steal without remorse’) huge plot points and actual storylines from the films of Tarantino, Rodriquez, Jeunet, Liman, Arteta, Allen, Lynch, Von Trier and Aronofsky, among others. Following two sub-par Pulp Fiction-esque hit men who mistakenly kidnap a Swingers-type loser thinking he’s their third cohort to pull off a botched robbery in a Vegas warehouse, Gore and Director Philip Zlotorynski can’t seem to find a common entertaining thread. I didn’t laugh once. Along the convoluted way the cadre of characters encounter several stereotypical ones – a. a man whose long term memory is fading away, requiring him to keep dropping trou at the most opportune moments, b. a happy-go-lucky deranged French girl named Anomalie, c. a cast of crazy Rabbis hell-bent on finding the perfect corned beef recipe, and d. a Christopher Walken impersonator with a orgy-loving midget living in his abode.

The Package

Gore’s audio commentary with Zlotorynski is most likely why you’ll want to check out this disc (- although don’t say I didn’t warn you, by throwing up flares and gigantic biohazard signs). Their chemistry is palpable enough to be enjoyable – as it should be hearing two lucky bastards having light fun with one another, but alas, their movie is a giant drag. Particularly, the pair discuss at length what makes good things they’d like to see and hear, from commentaries to special effects to even how they went about finding funding for their misfire. Too bad nothing they’ve spoken about being good is included in their own film.

Audio and video are fairly adequate – being a low-cost film. Presented in a 1.77:1 Widescreen aperture, I’d say it’s not eye-popping (due to Zlotorynski’s insanely flat shooting skills. For a Director, I’d say he needs to make a few shorts and give it another go, hopefully having figured a few things out in the process). As for audio, it’s fairly a-ok. Nothing special.

Lesson # 1 in How to be Funny!

What might irk you is in the featurette of The Making of My Big Fat Independent Movie where Gore actually has the cajones to say, rather straight-faced, that Johnny Vince is an amalgamation of Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn. Chances are you’ve seen
Swingers and you really didn’t need that wet-penile slap of smugness in your face. I am almost in awe, if it weren’t for my nagging dislike of the film itself. Additionally, the trailer is there and a hidden Easter Egg with Mewes reprising his Answering Machine voice while continually being annoying as all hell. There’s no excuse for this.

Finally, the 7 Postcards that come with the R-rated version (there’s an Unrated one out there but if you’re smart, there’ll be plenty of skipping that one) are quirky, literally ripping the posters for Clerks, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Amelie, Mulholland Drive, Dancer in the Dark, The Good Girl, Memento, and Reservoir Dogs. Cry-inducing is that they have the plethora of mediocre actors on them, thus rendering you into a geek tizzy when rethinking about the film.

The Lowdown

You have to hand it to Chris Gore. He actually made a movie. So congratulations to him. He’s managed to wander out father into the cinematic wilderness than most of us. Sadly, he’s had to accomplish that dream with the silliest of intentions – making a spoof. Leading one to continually argue that nothing good ever comes out of the state of mind known as Hollywood (by way of Wilshire) with their insistence on remakes and other assorted awfulness. Additionally, Gore and Zlotorynski will forever have their names associated with this piece of dreck, arguably one of the lamest films I have had the displeasure of watching. And that’s being kind. There are many more damning adjectives, nouns, and verbs to be hurled in its general direction. One only hopes they would detonate this steaming pile.

Additionally, I was watching the film with some of my Roommates who were interested in the film. By the time the twentieth minute rolled around, I was left all alone; in the dark, subjected helplessly to the lame amount of telegraphed jokes that kept coming and going long after they had become majorly, utterly irrelevant. Speaking of that, the movies themselves have long since left the public’s consciousness and one wonders why Gore and Co. chose to lampoon such older films that more mainstream audience members might have trouble figuring out. Thank Hades that there’s actually someone in the film every now and again that references the exact film (as in “well it should work since it worked in Pulp Fiction” and “Hey, everything turned out okay in Pi!”) – just in case. That anger you hear isn’t just from you, it’s actually my brain telepathically destroying my DVD player in retribution. My one Roommate, before actually throwing a chair in disgust at the film, managed to mumble “there’s been better writing on bathroom stalls” before going to look at calming Pornography upstairs.

Sometimes subtitles do say it all.

The film suffers tremendously from the same plagues as Scary Movie and its horrible ilk. The jokes fall flat, the pop-culture cycle drones on and on, and we as viewers are left with an unappealing taste in our mouths (leaving you to fill this in with whatever BJ joke will get the job done here). Gore, along with Co-writer Adam Schwartz, have fashioned out a fairly stodgy script that relies too heavily on homages and lame petty theft than actual originality. That’s terribly ridiculous, as I thought he’d not travel down this road of crude sophomoric pap. Gore has had a hand in some truly great things previously, so seeing him associated with such a disappointment is unfortunately a well-realized development. As for Director Zlotorynski, the less said the better. Visuals can bore you, if used correctly in terms of medium shot-close up-medium shot–reveal. Not exactly how he uses it, but you get the drift. It’s flat, and lumbering. Student films have been much, much, much — hell, infinitely better.

There’s not really much else to say. See it immediately for the virtual unsatisfactory feeling you’ll receive once those end credits roll. That’s the tingling sensation of 80 minutes you’ll never, ever get back.

2 out of 10