Newest Reviews
12 Hour Shift
Filmmaker's House, The
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
  Cecil B. Demented Film Fanatics
Year: 2000
Director: John Waters
Stars: Melanie Griffith, Stephen Dorff, Alicia Witt, Adrian Grenier, Lawrence Gilliard Jr, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jack Noseworthy, Mink Stole, Ricki Lake, Patricia Hearst, Michael Shannon, Kevin Nealon, Eric Barry, Zenzele Uzoma, Erika Lynn Rupli, Eric Roberts
Genre: Comedy, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Baltimore is to be graced with the presence of a true star: Honey Whitlock (Melanie Griffith) is arriving in town to premiere her latest romantic comedy, and although her fans there are looking forward to the big night, Honey herself is less than pleased about being in the city. In fact, she is a showbiz monster who pushes her assistants around, and even asks her secretary (Ricki Lake) to find out from the manager whether Pat Nixon had sex in the Presidential Suite where she has a room. But someone likes the idea of Honey being in movies - enough to want her to be in his production.

Cecil B. Demented (for it was he, played with conviction by Stephen Dorff) was, if you haven't guessed, a John Waters flick, and saw him taking the bull by the horns as he had not since before his run of milder efforts and going all out, as if to prove he still had it in him to shock polite society with his art. Of course, yesterday's rebel is today's grumpy old man, and here he looked more like he was shaking his fist at Hollywood and railing "Get off my lawn!" as his groundbreaking works were reinvented, glossed up and presented as the type of fodder for multiplexes across the globe.

But more than that, it was Waters and his relationship not to good bad taste but bad bad taste that informed the material, as he obviously felt the masses who flocked to Forrest Gump and Patch Adams were gullible fools, and as much to blame for the banality of culture as the studios who produced such blockbusters. What this brought about in practice were the rebel characters sloganeering throughout, leaving this less a comedy and more a party political broadcast on behalf of the John Waters Initiative, so you couldn't envisage many mainstream minds being changed by the antics on display here.

Nevertheless, enough of the director's wit was able to hit the mark to make his one of his better late period movies, although the sense of raging against the establishment was harder to take here, in a mid-budget movie with worldwide distribution, than it would have been from the Waters of the nineteen-seventies. The plot was essentially the Patricia Hearst story given an anti-Hollywood makeover - Hearst appeared, naturally - so once Holly is kidnapped by Cecil and his unruly band of guerilla moviemakers she is initially appalled, but after being drafted into appearing in their latest opus gets to like them and finally comes around to their point of view.

The cast tried hard, but for most the feeling of posturing never quite left them, and Dorff's performance was more reminiscent of a feature length Kids in the Hall sketch with him in the Bruce McCulloch role. There were giggles to be garnered from various bits and pieces - adult star Alicia Witt's ridiculous porno movie that sees her coupling with a mouse, the way that fans of cult movies band together like Night of the Living Dead zombies to get the rebels out of trouble, the throwaway items of vomitousness like enforced oyster eating - but there was a notable problem. That being, our heroes were pretty much terrorists, and one year after this was released, understandably it was going to look extremely behind the times for most of those watching. That Waters was so serious about the humour this time around definitely took the fun out of much of it, even if you could see his point. Music by Basil Poledouris and Zoe Poledouris.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2599 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


John Waters  (1946 - )

Witty American writer/director, the chief proponent of deliberate bad taste in American films. His early efforts are little more than glorified home movies, including Mondo Trasho and Multiple Maniacs, but with the notorious Pink Flamingos Waters found his cult audience.

Female Trouble and Desperate Living continued in the same vein, while Polyester showed a mellowing of Waters' style. Hairspray was an unexpected hit, followed by Cry-Baby, Serial Mom, Pecker, Cecil B. Demented and A Dirty Shame. Waters often casts the same actors, but Divine was his true superstar.

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash


Last Updated: