Jason Cochran
September 13, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Most Hollywood movies are brokered with greenbacks. The Underground Comedy Movie was funded by greens. ”We sold vegetable choppers in malls across the United States,” says its 23-year-old producer, Chris Watson. With the participation of such tattered pop fixtures as Axl Rose, Anna Nicole Smith, and Karen Black, the $170,000 sketch-comedy picture, which started out as Los Angeles cable-access bits in 1988, aspires to be ”a Kentucky Fried Movie for the ’90s,” Watson says. Among the bits: ”The Miss America Bag Lady Pageant,” shot in Tijuana with bikini-clad homeless; ”Flirty Harry,” about a cop with the mantra ”Go ahead: Make me gay”; and a Godfather parody (”The Godmother”) featuring Joey Buttafuoco. Writer-director Vince Offer, 25, admits he knows little about cameras (”We had some trouble with the buttons”), but he has learned the art of image: ”Sometimes to call casting people, we use a girl. It seems professional.” The L.A.-based duo’s salad days aren’t over yet: There’s still no distributor, and scheduling snafus (Smith has been sidelined by a breast-implant-related illness) have delayed completion by a month. ”Our hope,” says Offer, ”is that we can finish in time for Sundance.”

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