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Gory Gory Hallelujah

Tripping over the line between silly and stupid, camp comedy "Gory Gory Hallelujah" -- the title is the best part -- emerges more sub-Troma than subversive. This tale of four mismatched actors who run afoul of various rednecks on an audition run from Seattle to Gotham aims for bad-taste hipster satire in the John Waters vein.

With:
With: Tim Gouran, Angie Louise, Jeff Gilbert, Todd Licea, Keith Winstead, Jason Collin, Joseph Franklin, David Frederick White, Sue Corcoran, Greg Michael Allen, Paige Green Josh M. List, Eric Polani Jensen.

Tripping over the line between silly and stupid, camp comedy “Gory Gory Hallelujah” — the title is the best part — emerges more sub-Troma than subversive. This tale of four mismatched actors who run afoul of various rednecks on an audition run from Seattle to Gotham aims for bad-taste hipster satire in the John Waters vein. But co-creator/editor/thesps Sue Corcoran and Angie Louise should have left at least one job — screenwriting — to a third party. Having toured smaller fests since last fall, pic looks to find marginal exposure as a DVD item.

Protags rep a quartet of dim stereotypes that unfortunately set the tenor for all that follows: Rahim (Jeff Gilbert) is a ranting, afro’d, get-whitey black revolutionist; Jessie (Louise) is a sick-of-men feminist; Joshua (Todd Licea) is nebbishy. A tad less routinely conceived is Sky (Tim Gouran), a bisexual hippie-cum-surfer willing to stand up (or lie down) for free love at any moment.

After all are rejected at final callbacks for a role in a play, the four strangers decide impulsively to ride motorcycles cross-country for a “Jesus Christ Superstar” tryout.

En route they have a dustup with a bar full of Elvis impersonators. But that’s nothing compared with the trouble that ensues when they’re arrested in Jackville, a rural hellhole of more-Christian-than-thou hypocrisy, as local leaders manipulate the newcomers in an effort to separate an elderly, poor man (Joseph Franklin) from his ripe-for-development mountain property.

Assorted shenanigans ensue, with Jessie nearly burnt at the stake before the sudden rising-from-dead of an angry zombie horde puts an abrupt end to all sanctimonious evildoing.

Fun as this might sound in outline, “Gory Gory” is so heavy-handed and devoid of wit that few laughs emerge.

Cast was apparently told that the harder they mug, the funnier result will be. They were misinformed.

Climactic production number involving all the (now dead) townspeople is the sole sustained seg here in which concept and execution achieve inspired silliness.

Production’s colorful look and decent tech aspects evince more professionalism than story or performances.

Gory Gory Hallelujah

Production: A Von Piglet Sisters production in association with Sissy TV. Produced by Leslie Rugaber. Executive producer, Sue Corcoran. Directed by Sue Corcoran. Screenplay, Angie Louise.

Crew: Camera (color, HD vid), A.K. Rosencrans; editors, Corcoran, Louise; music, Bruce Monroe; songs, Louise; art director, Ro Winther; sound, Mike McAuliffe; assistant director, Kevin Lum. Reviewed at San Francisco Indie Festival, Feb. 7, 2004. Running time: 100 MIN.

With: With: Tim Gouran, Angie Louise, Jeff Gilbert, Todd Licea, Keith Winstead, Jason Collin, Joseph Franklin, David Frederick White, Sue Corcoran, Greg Michael Allen, Paige Green Josh M. List, Eric Polani Jensen.

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