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Beer Money

The residents of Eureka should sue for slander. The Northern California hamlet serves as the setting for "Beer Money," USA Network's first original comedy film. It's a dubious distinction, considering the pic was filmed in Canada, but because "Beer Money" is the kind of farce that make you long for the sophisticated comedy stylings of Pauly Shore.

With:
Tim Maroon - Mark-Paul Gosselaar Echo - Mercedes McNab Rut Rutledge - Nick Von Esmarch Neal Blank - J.P. Manoux Greenie - Gabriel Pimentel Crash - Byron Lucas Cosmo - Jeremy Radick Flap - Giacomo Baessato Dove - Kristen Robek Mitch McKaye - Mark Brandon Bill Buster - Dee Jay Jackson Vid King - Dave Hurtubise

The residents of Eureka should sue for slander. The Northern California hamlet serves as the setting for “Beer Money,” USA Network’s first original comedy film. It’s a dubious distinction, considering the pic was filmed in Canada, but more importantly because “Beer Money” is the kind of farce that make you long for the sophisticated comedy stylings of Pauly Shore.

Offensive on all visceral levels, this insipid and scatological tale will repel even the 9-year-old boys for which it’s presumably written. It doesn’t even win points for shock value, considering how heavily it borrows from the likes of “Road Trip” and “Freddy Got Fingered.” In fact, the best thing about the movie is that it is mercifully short.

Writer Rich Wilkes’ script aims for bad taste and hits the target somewhere below straight-to-video and just above unwatchable. Mark-Paul Gosselaar stars as Tim Maroon, a young man who returns home disillusioned after a brief career as a weatherman’s assistant in Hollywood. His main complaint is that he was forced to suffer endless humiliations in order to serve his boss. Alas, there are plenty more humiliations to come. Tim reunites with his old high school buddy Rut (Nick Von Esmarch), the town bully, who now hangs out with the local sci-fi nut, Blank (J.P. Manoux).

On their male-bonding camping weekend, the three discover alien life, hunt it, shoot it and stuff it in a duffel bag with the intent of selling its remains to “Unbelievable Encounters,” a hit TV show that happens to be filming in town.

But the alien, dubbed “Greenie” by Tim’s sometime love interest Echo (Mercedes McNab), isn’t easily killed, continually regenerating itself after several attempts by the trio to knock it off. As the local population gets wind of the out-of-town guest, Greenie becomes a hot commodity and everybody wants a piece of the action. Director Joshua Butler has an eye for following comedy, but unfortunately, here that means close-ups of zit-popping antics, bathroom scenes and, well, let’s just say that Tom Green only had to lick a mouse.

Christopher Lennertz attempts to mimic the levity through music and does an OK job at that. But Greenie the alien and the rest of the sci-fi props look like something picked up at a Sid & Marty Krofft warehouse sale.

Tape reviewed did not include final touches. Not that it would matter much.

Beer Money

USA Network; Tues. June 19, 9 p.m.

Production: Filmed on location in Canada by Great Falls Prods. and USA Cable Entertainment. Executive producers, Amy Wilkes, Rich Wilkes; producer, John V. Stuckmeyer; director, Joshua Butler; writer, Rich Wilkes.

Crew: Camera, Bruce Morrall; editor, Sean Albertson; music, Christopher Lennertz; sound, Daryl Powell; casting, Mary Vernieu, Anne McCarthy, Felicia Fasano. Running time: 90 MIN.

Cast: Tim Maroon - Mark-Paul Gosselaar Echo - Mercedes McNab Rut Rutledge - Nick Von Esmarch Neal Blank - J.P. Manoux Greenie - Gabriel Pimentel Crash - Byron Lucas Cosmo - Jeremy Radick Flap - Giacomo Baessato Dove - Kristen Robek Mitch McKaye - Mark Brandon Bill Buster - Dee Jay Jackson Vid King - Dave Hurtubise

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