The Electric Chair
Director - Mark Eisenstein
Cast - Victor Argo, Tony Corona,
Country of Origin - U.S.
Discs - 1
MSRP - $14.95
Distributor - MVD
Reviewer - Dirty Uncle Bob
A shoe-store manager, played by Victor Argo, tries to bring back his old stand-up career in a bizarre club with an electric chair on stage. Taking the stage in front of a weird mix of faces from his past and other folks lured into the club with the promise of a live execution, the comic rants, raves, and reminisces to a silent crowd. Well, mostly silent. A lone heckler pops up every now and then to nudge the comic closer and closer to the electric chair.
The film is a little heavier than the normal schlock that gets passed over to me. Not a boob or disembowelment to be found. I was a bit grumpy about that at first, but after about 20 minutes I found myself getting sucked in a little. The film plays like a stand-up special with a few quick breaks cut in that give you some background on the comic. Some of the comedy monologue could definitely pass as real shock stand-up (buh dun, tsssss) with a little polish. Fans of monologues and dark, cynical standup should be entertained.
So the movie wasn't a complete waste of time, but I have some complaints for sure about the DVD. The quality is pretty low on this one. The transfer was watchable, but the encoding was not kind to the grain, at all, leaving most of the feature crawling with noise. It's also loaded down with artifacts, crushed blacks, and a pretty bad mix, leaving me riding the volume pretty hard.
There's no shortage of extras on the DVD. There's quite a handful of trailers and shorts from director Mark Eisenstein, a few extra trailers from the distributor, and a commentary track with the director. Don't stay parked on the DVD menu too long, though. The electrical buzz that's looped as the background music and mixed a lot louder than the actual film will cause you to go nuts.
This a great little piece of NYC underground filmmaking if you can look past the film school production value and less than swell technical quality. It's got story and character where it counts. If you're feeling more arthouse than grindhouse and you like your comedy on the dark & dirty side, it's worth a watch.
If this film were to somehow be remade, I hope it would feature Doug Stanhope, David Cross, and Louis CK as members of a Satanic cult that were executing Jeff Dunham, Dane Cook, and Carlos Mencia, live on stage, in order to complete a blood ritual that would bring George Carlin, Bill Hicks, and Sam Kinison back from the dead to tell us what Hell is like.
Follow these simple rules to have a better time watching The Electric Chair!!
1 drink every time: