BluRay/DVD Reviews

CECIL B. DEMENTED

By • Oct 23rd, 2001 •

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(Artisan)
88 min

RECOMMENDED

The DVD for John Water’s latest epic Cecil B. Demented doesn’t contain a huge quantity of supplementary features, but those it does have are entertaining and at times insightful.

The Canned Ham featurette contains interviews with Waters and Dorff, intercut with scenes from the film. Usually these featurettes get redundant, but this one is quite funny. Waters and Dorff sit by a pool and talk about all sorts of things that happened during production. They share a lot of laughs, and it’s nice to see two people who actually enjoyed making their movie. A great moment occurs when they talk about the casting for the gerbil scene, which I won’t get into.

The real reason to buy this is for Waters’ commentary track. He talks about everything from drug experiences to his love of Satanists. Great moments include his oral history of Baltimore’s porno theaters, old stories about rebellious film making, his tributes to his favorite directors, lighting Melanie Griffith’s hair on fire, and of course…gerbils.

What makes the commentary of particular importance are the tips and secrets independant film makers can get out of it. Lots of ideas about sets, costumes, locations and how to get them cheap. Listen to how he used to make movies in the seventies and you’ll learn a lot. This is the kind of commentary worth listening to even if you despise the film. I enjoyed Cecil B. Demented on many levels, but the commentary track made me appreciate it even more.

Now that I’ve finished praising this DVD I feel obligated to say that the main menu is horribly annoying. OK, I know I sound like a baby, but it’s true. There is a fake menu that must be dealt with before reaching the real one and it’s really frustrating. In fact it took two or three times just to figure out how to get through it. OK, I’ll stop whining now.


DVD Features:
16:9 Widescreen Version, 5.1 Dolby Digital, Commentary by John Waters, Comedy Central’s Canned Ham, Cecil B. Demented Behind the Scenes Special.


Credits:
Directed by John Waters

Cast:
Stephen Dorff,
Melanie Griffith

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