Cecil B. Demented (2000)
John Waters’ latest excuse to venture outside of the home is a full out assault on the commercialism and corporate sap proliferating the film industry today. Cecil B. Demented is as much a commentary, or a ferocious editorial, than a comedy. Waters’ opinion is easily known as a militant group of “film terrorists” attack cinema and any Patch Adams that dare get in their way. Stephen Dorff leads the pack as they kidnap a famous movie starlette (Melanie Griffith) and brainwash her Patty Hearst style. The end result is a band of misfits trying to seize the world from bad movies – a noble cause I’d say. The movie is short but feels long at times. Cecil B. Demented is at its caustic best when the film terrorists are in action battling the ills of society and cinema. What’s surprising is the amount of action in a John Waters’ film – consider this his Die Hard. Some of the jokes are off kilter but gut-bursting (“Porno fans, your queen needs your help!”), while just a few are tiresome (Forest Gump 2? *sigh*). John Waters’ social commentary/comedy is sadistic joy and who doesn’t enjoy seeing a bad movie tortured?
Nate’s Grade: B