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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.