Power to the people who punish bad cinema!

At the Baltimore premier of her latest film, Some Kind of Happiness, Honey Whitlock (Melanie Griffith) is kidnapped by celluloid terrorist Cecil B. Demented (Stephen Dorff) and his gang of truly independent film makers. They start filming Demented's film, all of it one take, and almost all of it involving the general public (taken hostage, to ensure realistic behaviour).

As you might have guessed (who else would film in a dump (Whitlock's word, not mine!) like Baltimore?), it's a John Waters film.

Yet another quasi-autobiography by John Waters. Stephen Dorff plays Waters' voice of rage against mainstream Hollywood cinema. For Demented, the issue is not that the movies he hates are bad, but that they are diluted, and do not inspire the visceral response that his old heroes Otto Preminger and Sam Peckinpah could.

Because of this, it is impossible to judge the movie on the basis of its technical merit. Yes, the lines are hokey. Yes, the special effects are Grade Z (people 'shot' in the head get what looks like some red marzipan stuck to their forehead). Yes, the plot is unbelievable. But despite all these faults, the movie is still ten times more enjoyable than Bless the Child, a slicker, CGI-studded turd that I had just sat through before seeing the movie.

To summarize, John Waters has made a bad movie that is a salute to all the good things about bad movies. And that makes it a good movie. 4 stars if you're a film buff. 3 stars otherwise.

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