I didn't know how much I wanted Penn Jillette to write movies until Director's Cut. Holy shit this was a much needed, and very relevant breath of fresh air. What with all the kickstarters springing up like moles, it's high time someone build a film premise based around the mania surrounding these crowd funding endeavors (which of course, we totally love). And here comes Penn Jillette with a screenplay that does exactly that:
“Herbert Blount (Penn Jillette) is a crowdfunding contributor for the new Adam Rifkin feature Knocked Off. Unhappy with the film, he steals the footage and kidnaps actress Missi Pyle to star in his own “director’s cut!””
A quasi-horror comedy that plays off the potential entitlement that comes with being a crowdfunding contributor. It's hilarious, creepy, gory, and kind of meta (this being a crowdfunded film itself) -- I totally dig it, and Jillette (as Herbert) absolutely sells it. In fact, I can't point to a single performance in Director's Cut that comes across as out-of-place, or a disservice to the film. When it runs us through the movie-within-a-movie in its original form, everyone plays their role exactly as one would expect in a trope-powered low budget crime drama. Herbert, the always passionate film "expert", makes sure to point out each and every single one of them - complete with playbook style on-screen crayon drawings to help better illustrate his problems with the final vision.
Eventually, the well-meaning, but total psychopathic manchild finds his opportunity to rectify every single one of the problems brought to light in his obsessive deconstruction. Problem numero uno? The gross (according to Herbert) misuse of the ultra-talented, infallible actress Missi Pyle. The solution? A complete rewrite and re-shoot of the Missi Pyle character, "Mabel". Of course, Missi's gonna need a co-star worthy of playing opposite to her character's (newly written) greatness. That person? You guessed it, Mr. Herbert Blount himself. What follows is a stream of madness, cringe, and green-screen powered dark comedy as the duo "work together" to bring the crowdfunded film to its maximum possible potential. Or die trying.
If perpetually feeling like you want the floor to swallow you whole sounds like your idea of a great time at the movies, holy shit, get to viewing this gem as soon as you possibly can.
I actually had no idea what to expect when I first started watching Director’s Cut, and I wondered how this all would work, but only after a few minutes in - I was hooked. This film is packed with originality and definitely feels like a breath of fresh air, it also injects humor at every opportunity, much of it coming from the brilliant editing. The story itself was great (taking a cop story and really turning it on it’s head), while the addition of some truly humorous ‘’deleted footage’’ topped it off perfectly. Penn Jillette as Herbert Blount did a great job adding real personality to his character; Missi Pyle too, performed wonderfully. A surprise for me was seeing Lin Shaye (Insidious, There's Something About Mary) in this, I truly love watching her in every movie she appears in. Director's Cut's mix of humor and clever subversion really allow it to stand out of the crowd. Highly recommended.