Citizen Arcane

John Waters lacerates Hollywood in divinely inspired Cecil B. Demented

In Cecil B. Demented, Waters offers a world view that's uniquely his own. Imagine a gang operating out of an abandoned theater. Imagine it getting support from the few old-time moviehouses still in operation, playing porn and action films. Now witness a fight to defend the Sprocket Holes Gang from a band of "Family Viewing" thugs (led by Waters regulars Mink Stole and Mary Vivian Pearce). And that's not to mention the gang's guerrilla takeover of Gump Again -- the sequel to Forrest Gump, a film that Waters clearly despises with a passion. It's all here, charged by Griffith's funky glamour and the gleam of perfectly calibrated insanity in Stephen "Call me if you can't get Johnny Depp" Dorff's eye.

The crowning touch? Cecil's real name is "Sinclair Beckstein." And if you really know your movies, then you're aware that that's the name of the author of "O Brother Where Art Thou?" -- the novel Joel McCrea wants to make into a movie in Sullivan's Travels (the Coen brothers pay similar tribute with their upcoming George Clooney musical that bears the same title).

Stephen Dorff plays a lunatic film director who kidnaps an obnoxious Hollywood movie queen (Melanie Griffith) and forces her to star in his movie in Cecil B. Demented.
Abbot Genser
Stephen Dorff plays a lunatic film director who kidnaps an obnoxious Hollywood movie queen (Melanie Griffith) and forces her to star in his movie in Cecil B. Demented.

In short, Cecil B. Demented is essential viewing.

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