17 November 1998 | Jimmy-42
I've seen better film on teeth.
I can't quite say that "Jerry Springer:Ringmaster" is the worst film I have ever seen. The film would be better off if it were, because at least the worst film I've ever seen, (Prom Night II) interested me enough for me to hate it. My only reaction after leaving the theatre happened when I looked up at the clock and discovered that only 90 minutes had passed. It had seemed much more like years. It is an endless repetition of poor people, (or what Jerry Springer seems to believe poor people are), screwing each other, hitting each other, insulting each other, and then repeating the process with the same attention to duty the rest of us use when shampooing. The plot, which covers how a group of stupid people mangle their lives badly enough to provide grist for the Jerry Springer mill, advances solely because of the idiocy of the characters. This makes it impossible to care what happens to them. It never mattered to me whether they got on the show, or what they said, or who slept with whom. Maybe I'm not supposed to care about them. Maybe I'm supposed to look at them as some kind of comic type-- to see their outrageous behavior as inherently funny. Too bad it isn't. The humor is not outrageous. It's innocuous. It's predictable. Humor has to have something behind it, some kind of painful irony or life experience, in order to function. Scatology is not wit. An example. A mother catches her daughter and her husband in bed. To take revenge she marches across the trailer park and gives oral sex to her daughter's boyfriend. Since I was over the shock of Jerry Springer's show a long time ago, I had the same reaction I had to Andrew Dice Clay's obscene nursery rhymes; not laughter, just yawning. Lastly, I found Springer's pose as a populist tiresome and unconvincing. If he really were an advocate of the poor, he would bring on a single mom from Bed-Sty to talk about trying to raise her kids in New York City on $12,000 a year. Or, failing that, he would at least give the participants of his shows a cut of his profits. Jerry Springer gets millions for his shows, his movie, his book and videos. His guests just get round trip air fare, hotel accommodations, and a chance to humiliate themselves. If he liked poor people so much, he'd give them at least some of the money they earn for him. It appears that Springer wanted to make this movie to grab some legitimacy for himself. Jeez, with all his fine work, you'd think he'd have earned our respect already. Anyway, the film is weak and boring. It doesn't even succeed at being offensive. If you want to have a better evening, videotape a bug zapper for a night and then watch that.