Starting out as a witless rip of Bobcat Goldthwait's cult fave "Shakes the Clown," then veering toward what appears to be an earnest rape-revenge drama, writer-director Bryan Johnson's "Vulgar" is the kind of seriously awful movie that sounds so bad, it's good. Sitting through it is another matter, though. Final credit thanks exec producer Kevin Smith, "without whom I'd still be working at the car wash and you wouldn't be reading this." Need more be said?

Starting out as a witless rip of Bobcat Goldthwait’s cult fave “Shakes the Clown,” then veering toward what appears to be an earnest rape-revenge drama, writer-director Bryan Johnson’s “Vulgar” is the kind of seriously awful movie that sounds so bad, it’s good. Sitting through it is another matter, though. Final credit thanks exec producer Kevin Smith, “without whom I’d still be working at the car wash and you wouldn’t be reading this.” Need more be said?

Brian O’Halloran stars as William aka Flappy, a professional birthday party clown. Desperate for cash, Will decides to sideline as a cross-dressing gag act for bachelor parties. But his first job gets him beaten, gang-raped and otherwise humiliated by a middle-aged perv and his two inbred sons. Later, Will heroically saves a child hostage, earning his own national TV kid show — which in turn draws the attention of the goon trio, whose blackmailing scheme leads to protag’s bloody vengeance. Inexplicably mixing lamer-than-lame “bad taste” comedy with yea worse traumatized-assault-victim histrionics, pic’s only entertainment value lies in viewer weighing whether pic is primarily a.) offensive b.) amateurish c.) pathetic or d.) a cry for help.

Vulgar

Production

A Lions Gate release of a View Askew production. (International sales: Sloss Special Projects, N.Y.) Produced by Monica Hampton. Executive producers, Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier.

Crew

Directed, written by Bryan Johnson. Camera (color, 16mm), David Klein; editors, Scott Mosier, Johnson; music, Ryan Shore; production designer, Lisa Mareiniss. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Discovery), Sept. 13, 2000. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

With: Scott O'Halloran, Bryan Johnson, Ralph Lamblase, Scott Mosier, Brian Quinn, Scott Schiaffo, Kevin Smith, Ethan Suplee.

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