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Review: DIRECTOR’S CUT (2016)

I’ve seen movies that take place within other movies. I’ve seen movies about the making of movies, real and fictitious. But Adam Rifkin’s DIRECTOR’S CUT is the first one I’ve seen that’s the DVD extras of another film. The director’s commentary track of a film called KNOCKED OFF to be exact. It’s an interesting concept, but the execution leaves something to be desired.

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The film within the film KNOCKED OFF is presented as a crowdfunded serial killer film along the lines of SE7EN. The cast includes Harry Hamlin, Hayes MacArthur, Lin Shaye (ROOM FOR RENT), and Gilbert Gottfried. However, it’s the casting of Missi Pyle that sets things in motion. It compels deranged fan and crowdfunding contributor Herbert Blount (Penn Jillette) to make the film his. Even if that means kidnapping Ms. Pyle and shooting some extra scenes.

Meant to be a satire of Hollywood, crowdfunding and fanboy culture, DIRECTOR’S CUT is a mess. Jillette’s script isn’t very funny, and his voice-overs on the film quickly got on my nerves. The obvious footage shot by Blount is funny the first time we see hideously bad process shots or badly dubbed candid footage passed off as part of the film. But it quickly becomes overused and tedious. The idea and its execution is really better suited to s short than a full feature.

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Director Adam Rifkin has a career that’s spanned films as diverse as THE INVISIBLE MANIAC, THE DARK BACKWARD, and DETROIT ROCK CITY. He’s usually able to deliver a film that’s at least watchable, and he can do parody, check out his “Wadzilla” segment from CHILLERAMA for proof. But the script gives him little to work with here, and it shows.

Maybe I’m just not cool enough to get all the in-jokes, though I did recognize Penn’s partner Teller in a rare speaking part, but I found DIRECTOR’S CUT a total waste of time. You can decide for yourself when Dread Central Presents releases DIRECTOR’S CUT to VOD on May 29th and Blu-ray/DVD combo on June 5th.

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