A film student had great success creating YouTube videos
in his undergrad days, but now that he has graduated he has to figure out how to
earn a living. His iconoclastic style is too free-wheeling to be harnessed by any
mainstream ad agency, and even the most daring consumer
product companies find his ideas too outrageous to be associated with their
brands, even when those brands specifically target stoners! He does finally
find a medium that allows him to earn money without compromising: uncensored
late-night ads for (ahem) adult-oriented services.
That's a flimsy premise, to be sure, but it only takes
up about fifteen minutes of running time. The structure of the plot is
only a framing device, because the real meat of Stonerville is actually a series of
unrelated comedy skits, ala Groove Tube or Kentucky Fried Movie. The various sketches
unfold in the young
filmmaker's imagination as he spies everyday events and tries to picture how
he could turn them into funny internet videos.
There is an ensemble cast, and several of them appear
in multiple roles. Frankly, that can be kind of confusing, because some of the
actors are recognizable. For example, the guy who plays Jackie Chiles on
Seinfeld appears in two different substantial roles in this film, and does not
try to distinguish them in any way. He plays a corporate executive and a prominent sportscaster
without even a change of wardrobe. I
guess that wouldn't really matter if the sketches were funny, but they aren't.
This was Leslie Nielsen's last film, and that's sad for at least two reasons.
One, of course, is that Leslie will no longer be around to make us smile. The
other is that his final legacy will be this ineffective straight-to-vid
comedy. Even the great Nielsen is dragged down by the lame writing, so you can
imagine how bad the scenes can be when the lines are delivered by such lesser
lights as the dreaded Pauly Shore.
There's quite a bit of nudity, but most of it is
The Story of Fuck
A good-hearted record company executive gets one of his best clients stolen
away by an evil executive in the same firm. The good executive is not really
up to revenge, but his crafty secretary has other ideas. She engineers a
massive scam in which the evil executive is duped into signing a band which
doesn't even exist. Evil Guy is led to believe that a band called FUCK is the
edgiest, rockingest band to come along in years, and he ends up giving their
manager (actually a sleazy lawyer hired by the secretary) a big contract to
keep the non-existent lads from signing elsewhere. Given that foundation built by the
secretary, the only thing Good Guy has to do to bring the scheme to fruition
is to come up with the least talented band in history and rename them FUCK, thus humiliating Evil
Guy when he presents the much-heralded FUCK to the world. At that point the
film drifts off into Springtime for Hitler territory.
This is one of the strangest films since the 70s. It's filled with all
manner of bizarre images, non-sequiturs, exaggerated characters, flashing
colors, and surreal situations. There are
space aliens, devils, angels, look-alikes, and even a
board game with Death,
Bergman-style. Well, to be accurate, it's not Death but Satan who's
playing backgammon, and he's cheating, as you might expect from the Prince of
Lies. At least Death plays fair.
The cast is extremely eccentric and performs with exaggerated enthusiasm, so
it plays out like an episode of Benny Hill on LSD. I sometimes found the
working-class English accents and slang almost indecipherable, and I generally
dislike self-consciously odd films, but this is all so silly, and the
energy level is so high, that I did get the occasional laugh and never
fast-forwarded during this truly
bizarre British film.