From Bryan Johnson comes a black comedy with more than just a little edge to it.
Vulgar sees a pathetic, down-and-out clown, played by Clerks' Brian O'Halloran, respond to an ad which would require him to perform a joke at a bachelor's party only to find that a psychotic father and his two sons are planning to rape him.
Now that's a synopsis!
Must have been a shoo-in pitch at Lionsgate Entertainment.
Who would have thought that Shakes The Clown and I Spit On Your Grave would combine their plots to create a whole new movie?
The depiction of Will "Flappy" Carson's (O'Halloran) unpleasant day-to-day life is handled with a sarcastic sense of humour at first with his mother being so over-the-top vile and his job not exactly working out the way he was hoping it would. Bryan Johnson himself also pops up here and there as Will's best friend to cheer him up or shoot the shit. Then the film takes such a dark detour that, right there and then, it should either get you to really feel for the character or make you give up on the film altogether. It's no surprise that a rape scene in the middle of an up-to-that-point pretty tame comedy turned a lot of people off this movie. Looking at the cast, you've got all the View Askew regulars save for Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Jason Lee including Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Walt Flanagan and Ethan Suplee. Then the shit hits the fan and the film packs an emotional punch so violent, it's likely that those not expecting it might promptly shut off the movie and never look back.
You could make the argument that there was no need to go as far as rape to get the film's point across and that this specific turn of events was chosen purely for shock value. Having said that, dismissing Vulgar as a bad movie because of how unnecessarily harsh it is with its main character would be a mistake. After all, didn't the whole world lap up The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo a few years back? Had Vulgar taken Flappy's plight lightly following the rape scene, the film would have definitely (and rightfully) been universally despised. But I personally found the movie to be very sympathetic towards its main character and the culprits thankfully get their comeuppance. It's difficult to not feel really bad for Brian O'Halloran's clown and not want to see him get his deserved revenge. The tone lightens up in parts and there's definitely an element of media satire in there making Vulgar one very strange, at times incredibly uncomfortable, at times pretty funny, all in all rather good movie.
You'll either give this messed-up flick a chance or you'll give it the middle finger halfway through. It's clearly low-budget and, as a film, Vulgar's certainly not for everyone but those willing to give it a chance should find it surprisingly gripping.
Whatever the case, it's unlikely you'll forget this one.
Destined for cult adoration.