Vulgar

"Unbearable"

Vulgar Review


Hey everybody, wanna watch a movie in which a guy dressed as a children's party clown gets violently gang-raped? I didn't think so. But here's the bigger question: Why would Kevin Smith protégé Bryan Johnson want to write and direct such a movie?

"Vulgar" is a product of View Askew, the production company that makes all Smith's joyously juvenile and sometimes insightful comedies, like "Clerks," "Chasing Amy," "Dogma" and "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back." Johnson is a friend of Smith's and a frequent bit player in his movies (fans know him as Steve-Dave Pulasti). To watch his debut as a writer-director is to get the distinct impression that Smith owed him a favor.

Brian O'Halloran (the convenience store clerk from "Clerks," et al) stars in this unpleasantly dark comedy-drama as a down-on-his-luck professional clown who hits on the idea of jumping out of cakes in full Bozo regalia at bachelor parties as a joke before the "real" entertainment arrives. His first gig at a run-down motel goes badly -- he's sexually assaulted by a violent middle-aged drunk (Jerry Lewkowitz) and his halfwit hillbilly sons (Ethan Suplee and Matthew Maher).

Soon thereafter he saves a little girl from her abusive alcoholic father during a hostage stand-off, again dressed as a clown. He becomes a hero and a celebrity, then gets his own TV show. When the rapist sees this, he blackmails O'Halloran with a videotape of their encounter, setting the clown on a path toward revenge.

"Vulgar" -- which lives up to it's title and then some -- isn't just pointless and repellent. With the exception of brief flashes of accidentally passable acting, it's so grossly under-rehearsed as to be laughable. If Johnson had walked up to any two people on the street, handed them a page of the script and asked them to read it aloud (if they could even stomach it), he would have gotten better performances than he gets here from people he paid to act. The funny thing is, Johnson cast himself as the clown's best friend, and he's the worst actor of them all.

But as bad as he is in front of the camera, behind it he's even worse. The stink of amateurism wafts off the screen in static scene after static scene filled with the incessant yappity-yappity-yappity attempts at Smith-like banter. Every shot gives the impression of a bad first take that was used because Johnson couldn't afford to do a second. He sure couldn't afford anything resembling production design. O'Halloran is supposed to have his own big-time syndicated kiddie show, but the stage they shoot it on looks like spray-painted cardboard set up in somebody's garage (which it probably was).

There is exactly one good scene in the movie, and it's the opening scene, in which O'Halloran comes bolting out of his dilapidated apartment, late for a gig, and has to kick a passed-out neighbor out of his back seat and sweep dozens of empty beer bottles off his crappy car before he can leave. Beyond that, the only way I can see this movie appealing to anyone would be if View Askew fans wanted to watch for cameos by Smith, Jason Mewes (Jay of Jay and Silent Bob), Scott Mosier (Smith's producer) and other regulars from the New Jersey movies.

Here's the ultimate question about "Vulgar": What possessed Lion's Gate Entertainment to pay for this two-year-old, impossible to market debacle and release it -- however limited -- into theaters?

If they're counting on Smith's fans to turn out just because he's associated with it, they should have checked the box office receipts for "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" before making a decision.



Vulgar

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th April 2002

Box Office Worldwide: $14.9 thousand

Budget: $120 thousand

Distributed by: Lions Gate Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 0.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 23%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 20

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Will Carlson / Flappy / Vulgar, Diana Devlin as Sultry Audience Member

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.