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Vulgar (2002)

Cast: Brian O'Halloran, Brian O'Halloran, Kevin Smith, more...
Director: Bryan Johnson, Bryan Johnson
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Lions Gate
Genre: Black Comedy, Quest, Revenge
Running Time: 84 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish
    see additional details...

Kevin Smith co-produced this bizarre (and sometimes very dark) comedy from his high school friend and occasional acting colleague Bryan Johnson. Will Carlson (Brian O'Halloran) is a second-rate children's entertainer who barely scrapes out a living appearing as Flappy the Clown at children's parties. Determined to make a living and support his harridan mother through clowning, Will gets the idea to change his act, and starts hiring himself out as Vulgar the Clown, a cross-dressing gagman who performs at adults-only functions. Vulgar's debut performance, however, proves worse than disastrous; hired to appear at a bachelor party, Vulgar is gang-raped by three subnormal rednecks who were expecting something quite a bit different. Will's life seems to have hit rock bottom when he stumbles into the middle of a police standoff with a deranged father holding his children hostage. Will, in full Flappy the Clown regalia, accidentally saves the day, and soon the story of the heroic clown is all over the local media. A television producer gets the idea of building a children's television show around Flappy, and it looks like Will may have finally hit the big time. But just when things begin to look up, Will is informed that someone videotaped him being raped at the bachelor party, and a blackmailer threatens to release the tape and destroy his new career if Will doesn't pay up. Vulgar features supporting performances from several members of Kevin Smith's stock company and production team, including Jason Mewes, Scott Mosier, and Smith himself. The film underwent several attempts to secure an "R" rating from the MPAA. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

A REALLY askew view by dischead April 7, 2003 - 2:02 PM PDT
6 out of 6 members found this review helpful
12 hours later, I'm still not sure what I think of Bryan "Steve-Dave" Johnson's Vulgar.

Of course I knew going into it that the story was inspired by View Askew's long-time pervy-clown mascot of the same name. And of course I recognized the regulars from the V.A. troupe: Johnson, Brian O'Halloran, Kevin Smith, Ethan Suplee, and even Jason Mewes (who shows his actorly versatility by this time playing a druggie who's not named Jay).

Being a fan of the View-Askewniverse only helped me so far, though. At times the film seems too serious even for a black comedy. In fact, I'm not sure its billing as a "black comedy" is wholly appropriate. Comparisons to Deliverance may be apt, though I confess I have not seen it. Tarantino and 8MM must have been influences as well.

In any case, I've seen worse. Johnson does a competent turn as director, if not writer. I was a little disappointed that he made Will/Vulgar a hero rather than an anti-hero, as I expected.

For View Askew film fans, Vulgar is worth checking out as the evil sibling in the bunch. But that pain in your gut won't be your sides splitting so much as your lunch turning over.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 4.71)
52 Votes
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My Love for all things "Kevin Smith" !
Whether directing, acting, writing, or producing the man is a true talent w/ the help of uber-producer Scott Mosier!!
Why Clowns And Dolls Freak Me Out.
Obviously my dislike for clowns and dolls comes from these kind of films. The fact that I saw most of these when I was very young is part of it too. Nothing like a bunch of creepy clown/doll films to turn a kid into an adult with a clown/doll aversion.

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