27 May 2006 | tonymurphylee
Strange. This is a film that is extremely easy to hate, but to me, I understood what it was going for and appreciated it for that.
Will Carlson is a birthday clown who is having some troubles. He can't pay the rent, his mom hates him, and everybody gives him a difficult time. He gets the idea of being an adult entertainer party clown. On his first job he is tortured and raped by an insane father and his two sons. He is too embarrassed to call the authorities, so he keeps the entire incident a secret. Some time later, he saves the life of a little girl who is held hostage by her father and becomes famous and gets his own show. Finally, his dream has come true. He gets a call from the family of rapists who had videotaped his performance and tell him to give them a share of his money. He does, but then they also want a repeat reenactment of that fateful night or they will leak the tape to the press. This film doesn't try to be special. It isn't stylized, or done artfully or tastefully. It can be considered many things, but one thing the film can't be criticized for is being pretentious. This is, to put it properly, an old-school exploitation grindhouse style picture. This film is very effective and quite shocking. It certainly is not a film for everybody. It is a hell of an experience. The film is ugly, rough, grainy, and dimly lit. The acting is very intense and the characters are often quite abrasive. The plot of the film is quite realistic to an extent. The rape scenes are pretty horrific and brutal, some of the roughest I've seen in fact. The spends enough time getting us to sympathize and feel sorry for the character of Will Carlson. His roommate(Bryan Johnson, the director of VULGAR) is probably the best character in the film. Ethan Suplee and Matthew Maher are both pretty creepy as the two rapists, Jerry Lewkowitz is quite nasty as the father, and Brian O'Halloran gives a pretty strong performance. In fact, the only serious issue I had with this film is that it tries to be a comedy at times. Ultimately, the attempts at humor come off really poorly. The humor in this film feels out of place and is distracting at times when it shouldn't be. I guess I could call this a black comedy, but the film is actually really disturbing and difficult to watch. Maybe the comedy element was added to make the whole film seem even more wrong. As it is, it's a merciless film and is nasty. If you are a fan of exploitation you will probably love this film. For others, you could probably do with this film.
Pros: -very engaging and moving at times -decent acting -well established dark tone -intense -a guilty pleasure
Cons: -unneeded humor -graphic violence, rape, and sexual torture may be too much for a lot of viewers -bad marketing