Vulgar (2000)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Genres / Traits: Black Comedy, Comedy Drama, Psychological Drama, Clowns
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Bryan Johnson Bryan Johnson
Brian O'Halloran Brian O'Halloran
Bryan Johnson Bryan Johnson
Jerry Lewkowitz Jerry Lewkowitz
Ethan Suplee Ethan Suplee
Matthew Maher Matthew Maher

5.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: November 03, 2004
Will Carlson (Brian O'Halloran of "Clerks" fame) is in a bit of a rut. His job as Flappy, a clown that shows up at kids parties for their entertainment, isn't pulling in near enough cash to pay the bills. His landlord is bitching at him about the rent that he owes, and his mother's (Jay Petrick) retirement home is doing some bitching of their own about her growing bills. As Will is reading through the paper, he sees a considerable amount of sexually deviant ads; guys who pay to watch other men screw their wives, people who want to be shit on, booger-eaters, all sorts of nastiness. This gives Will an idea, which he discusses with his friend Syd (director Bryan Johnson)... he could market himself as a "gag" clown for bachelor parties. Will has it in his head that since so many guys get big-bosomed females for their bachelor parties, there'd be a market for the friends who would want to play a joke on the bachelor in question by having a transvestite clown show up at their parties, so he puts out some ads. He gets a reply to the ad, and soon shows up at a hotel room in a complete clown-in-lingerie getup under the new name of Vulgar, only to be gang-raped by Ed Fanelli (Jerry Lewkowitz) and his two sons Frankie (Ethan Suplee) and Gino (Matthew Maher). After a bout with the expected depression that would follow such an event, Will gets back to being a clown for children, only to show up to a party with a hostage situation going on. Will manages to save the child that was being held hostage, and as a result, gains national attention due to his heroic actions. He hooks up with an agent by the name of Martan Ingram (Kevin Smith), lands a TV deal, and becomes even more popular than "that fat purple bastard"... however, the Fanelli family sees his rise to stardom, recognizes the face, and they start the blackmailing...

This movie got such horrible reviews around the old internet, so of course, I had to check it out for myself. If you're looking for another version of "Clerks" or "Mallrats", then yes, you will be greatly disappointed by this movie. If, however, you're looking for a movie that constantly goes between being a comedy and a drama without really fitting into either category on a whole, and actually manages to pull that off, this would be a movie to check out. The storyline moves along pretty nicely, taking enough time to put out the plot twists without seeming rushed, but also moving along quickly enough so that one doesn't get bored with the events that are currently taking place on-screen. This could have easily been a problem considering some of the developments that take place in the story, but thankfully, everything was smoothly executed. One of the bigger surprises to the movie was the way that the rape scene and its aftermath was handled. Considering the people behind the film and the way that a good chunk of the rest of the movie was done, I was expecting the scene to be done up in a humorous fashion, or as a parody of other similar scenes. This would have done a great job in killing the mood and effect of the film, so I'm quite satisfied that it was handled with all of the seriousness that it should have been.

The acting really helps the film, a lot. Brian O'Halloran (Will / Flappy / Vulgar) has put on a bit of weight since his days as Dante in "Clerks", but he hasn't missed a beat in terms of acting. His side of the script seems to be a underwritten, but he still delivers a thoroughly entertaining performance nonetheless. There's a whole slew of minor characters throughout the movie, who only get a scene or two to show off their skills... but most, if not all, keep things interesting. Jay Petrick (Will's mother) does an excellent job as the nagging bitch of a mother, Kevin Smith plays a seemingly-homosexual, clean-cut agent, director Bryan Johnson plays the role of Will's friend, and Jay Mewes ("Clerks", "Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back") has a small role of a weapons-provider. While each of these characters have very minor parts in the movie, with Bryan Johnson getting the most on-screen time with about fifteen minutes, each one definitely adds something to the film and makes it that much better.

Worth the rental, but again, don't rent it with the expectation of it being another Kevin Smith comedy classic. 7/10.
Tristan #1: Tristan - added 02/06/2006, 01:30 PM
This movie was just all around fucked. I mean, not only was it completely unpredictable, O'Halloran can actually somewhat act. Good film, in my opinion.
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