Movie Article

Low-Rent Riot

Anna Nicole Smith, Axl Rose, and other pop figures appear in independent film full of paradies

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.''

Originally posted Sep 13, 1996 Published in issue #344 Sep 13, 1996 Order article reprints
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